Oppenheimer passes historic milestone set by Freddie Mercury biopic

Nearly two months since its release, and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is still managing to break box-office records.

The Award-winning director’s latest box office smash, starring Cillian Murphy as the father of the atomic bomb, J Robert Oppenheimer, has officially surpassed $912m (£712.4m) in global takings, according to Box Office Mojo.

This means it’s outstripped Bryan Singer’s 2018 Freddy Mercury film, Bohemian Rhapsody, to become the highest-grossing biopic ever at the global box office. Rami Malek played the late Queen frontman in the picture, which earned $910m (£710m) worldwide.

Oppenheimer, which premiered in cinemas at the same time as Greta Gerwig’s Barbie in July, benefitted from the viral “Barbenheimer” trend, which saw fans enjoy a double feature of both films.

Gerwig’s heartwarming comedy-drama about the popular Mattel doll, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, meanwhile, has grossed a whopping $1.3bn (£1.05bn) globally, making Gerwig, 40, the first female director ever to gross over $1bn.

In early August, when Nolan’s drama sailed past $550m (£433.4m) at the global office, it became the highest-grossing WWII film of all time.

The film currently sits at a 93 per cent rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Oppenheimer was hailed as “clever, imaginative and Nolan at his best” by The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey in her four-star review.

‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Universal Pictures and 20th Century Studios)
‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (Universal Pictures and 20th Century Studios)

Bohemian Rhapsody, which landed Malek, 42, the Oscar for Best Actor, also won the Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing in 2019.

Oppenheimer will have stiff competition at next year’s 94th Academy Awards, with Yorghos Lanthimos’s Poor Things now the a frontrunner for Best Picture.

The sci-fi romance, which stars Emma Stone, won the top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival. The Golden Lion is considered a signifier of what will go on to win trophies throughout the upcoming awards season.

Forthcoming films also set to be in the running include new Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s film about composer Leonard Bersntein, and Alexander Payne film The Holdovers.