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Oppenheimer hit the cinemas this weekend in a debut that set new record highs for the director and genre. The Universal movie shared the theaters with Warner Bros’ Barbie creating hype that boosted both movies to massive returns.

Nolan’s Oppenheimer Soars to New Heights

Oppenheimer is a three-hour biographical drama that tells the story of brilliant physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer who is dubbed the father of atomic bombs. While many people worked on building an atomic bomb, Robert is credited with the feat that contributed to the end of World War II.

The film was directed by Christopher Nolan, the famous director of other hits including Dark Knight and Inception. Together with Cillian Murphy, who played Oppenheimer, Nolan created a film that surpassed his former masterpieces according to many reviewers.

Before its release, box office analysts had projected that the film would draw in between $40 and $60 million during its opening weekend, according to CNBC. However, from its previews on Thursday alone, Oppenheimer gathered $10.5 million. On its open day, the film earned another $33 million making it the third-highest opening this year.

Compared to Nolan’s other hits, this is his highest ever, marking a new record for his career. Oppenheimer’s first day generated 52% more than Inception’s which had $21.8 million and 67% more than Dunkirk which registered $19.7 million. It had grossed $174 million going into the weekend.

Additionally, it was a 12% improvement over John Wick: Chapter 4’s $29.4 million making it the biggest R-rated opening day since Joker’s $39.35 million in October 2019. This is such a major feat for a 3-hour R-rated grimdark drama that focuses primarily on men in suits having mysterious conversations about politics and science.

The depressing three-hour movie has received some of Christopher Nolan‘s best reviews of his career. Oppenheimer earned a 96% approval rating from top reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes. What is even more promising is that moviegoers appear to have really enjoyed it, as implied by the excellent “A” grade through Cinema Score.

Barbies Markets Oppenheimer

However, this success has only been made possible by the brilliant marketing strategy employed by the distributor. The film, which is rumored to have cost $100 million to produce, has carried out a very fruitful marketing campaign. For starters, the team released two trailers of the film, showcasing its amazing visuals and equally excellent cast.

The film also capitalized on attention drawn to the visionary director’s creative work on Oppenheimer. For instance, the 1945 Trinity Test, the world’s first nuclear explosion, was faithfully recreated without the use of computer graphics.

Another factor that played a major role in Oppenheimer’s success is the fact that Barbie was also being released on the same weekend. Over the past few years, the penultimate weekend in July had come to be known as the Christopher Nolan period. It was during this time that the acclaimed director debuted two of his most recent four films, The Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk.

Months after Nolan left Warner Bros., the studio perhaps retaliated by scheduling “Barbie” for the same weekend as Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” which the director had brought to Universal. The two films whose genres are polar opposites and whose distributing studios are rivals have however worked to help each other.

The iconic release, named ‘Barbenheimer’ has become a sensation on the internet over the past few weeks. What started as a war between the two films ended up becoming an event to look forward to. Social media was also a buzz with the release creating more marketing for the two shows.

Oppenheimer benefitted more from Barbie’s advertisement seeing as Barbie was stated to be marketed better and more than the biopic.

Regardless, the launch of the two movies this weekend has created the biggest weekend in the Box Office in 2023. This weekend alone, the two are estimated to have reeled in over $230 million in ticket sales.

Barbie Tops the Charts

On the other hand, Barbie has singlehandedly topped the charts as the highest opening of the year. The movie is centered around Mattel’s marquee doll that travels from magical Barbieland to a very problematic real world.

Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, exceeded projections which quoted between $95 million and $110 million this weekend. The film started with $22.3 million from its Wednesday and Thursday Previews. It then went on to generate a staggering $70.5 million on its opening day.

The film, whose production cost an astounding $145 million and another $100 million on marketing, caught the internet’s attention with its marketing gimmicks. From a massive pink doll house to painting Google pink with stars, Warner Bros went all out and it is set to pay off.

https://twitter.com/ArchDigest/status/1669766833853923345

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