Oppenheimer's Box Office Just Passed Marvel's Highest Grossing R-Rated Movie

By David Thompson Updated:
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Avengers: Infinity War artwork

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer just beat out a historic Marvel movie at the worldwide box office.

Since jumping out to a great start alongside Barbie on the weekend of July 21, Oppenheimer has gone on to become one of Nolan's more successful films.

It's now projected that his latest film will become the third-highest-grossing in the director's history, only behind The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

This continued theatrical success has been in part because of the desire to see Oppenheimer in IMAX (which is an additional), but it's equally as impressive how little its extensive three-hour runtime and R-rating has held it down.

Oppenheimer Passes Deadpool at the Box Office

Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy

Oppenheimer has officially crossed the $800 million mark at the global box office, via Luiz Fernando, making it the second highest-grossing R-rated film ever.

This also means that Christopher Nolan's latest has leapfrogged both of Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool films. 

Oppenheimer has officially grossed $801.2 million to date and is projected to make as much as 950 million by the end of its theatrical run.

Deadpool 2 is the highest-earning R-rated Marvel movie to date, with Joker not only being the highest-earning R-rated DC movie, but the most successful ever with that mature rating.

Here's an updated look at the Top 10 R-rated films at the worldwide box office:

  1. Joker - $1.07 billion
  2. Oppenheimer - $801.2 million
  3. Deadpool 2 - $785.9 million
  4. Deadpool - $782.6 million
  5. The Matrix Reloaded - $741.8 million
  6. It - $700.4 million
  7. Detective Chinatown 3 - $686.3 million
  8. Logan - $619 million
  9. The Passion of the Christ - $612 million
  10. The Hangover Part II - $586.8 million

Marvel Studios' Deadpool 3 is primed to join this list whenever it eventually releases, it's currently set to open on May 3, 2024, but is expected to be delayed due to the ongoing actors' strike.

How Oppenheimer Has Become So Successful

Above everything else, Oppenheimer is a success because it's been received well by critics and audience members. Some have even said it's one of Christopher Nolan's best works, possibly even the best.

In addition to the movie's overall quality, its cast is oozing with stars, all giving generation performances with Cillian Murphy leading the way and set up for a few possible Academy Award nominations.

In addition to its merit as an individual film, the social media and theater sensation that became Barbenheimer will go down in history as one of the biggest opening weekends in box office history. Rather than Universal and Warner Bros. pulling each other down, many went and saw both Oppenheimer and Barbie in theaters.

It's also impressive to see such a strong international gross for this World World II historical film about the birth of the atomic bomb. It's earned nearly $500 million outside of the US, despite the nude scenes being removed in China.

Hopefully, this can act as a lesson for studios, possibly even Marvel, to take more risks, put faith in the creators, and worry less about the rating or how family-friendly certain films are.

Oppenheimer is now playing in theaters and is not expected to be streaming soon.

- In This Article: Oppenheimer
Release Date
July 21, 2023
Cillian Murphy
Matt Damon
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.