Oppenheimer Sets Historic Box Office Streak In Its Second Weekend

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer has opened to box office success, even breaking a historic streak going into its second weekend. 

Releasing alongside Barbie, Oppenheimer has been breaking records since the beginning on Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, and at the box office.

The Nolan blockbuster opened at $82 million domestically and $180 million worldwide, toppling the $50 million and $100 million predicted.

Oppenheimer broke a record for IMAX with a $35 million debut on its 740 worldwide screens, making up 20% of total ticket sales - the biggest share ever.

Oppenheimer Keeps Winning at the Box Office

According to a report from Variety, Oppenheimer achieved a historic streak at the box office since its worldwide opening on July 21.

The historical epic has already grossed $400 million worldwide including $174 million domestic - $46.6 million of which was grossed over its second weekend.

Based on data shared with Variety by Universal, Oppenheimer was the first R-rated movie to ever gross over $10 million daily domestically for seven days straight, with the streak extending to ten days over its sophomore weekend.  

The movie has already outgrossed the worldwide lifetime total of several Christopher Nolans movies - Following, Memento, The Prestige, Insomnia, Batman Begins, and Tenet - the full list of which can be seen below:

  1. The Dark Knight Rises - $1.08 billion
  2. The Dark Knight - $1 billion
  3. Inception - $728.5 million
  4. Interstellar - $647.8 million
  5. Dunkirk - $512.4 million
  6. Oppenheimer - $400.4 million
  7. Tenet - $360.2 million
  8. Batman Begins - $356.8 million
  9. Insomnia - $113.6 million
  10. The Prestige - $104.4 million
  11. Memento - $39.7 million
  12. Following - $240,495

Expert industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian spoke to Variety about the second-weekend turnouts for Oppenheimer and Barbie, calling them "two of the best sophomore session holds" in history:

“Weekend two proves the outpouring of interest in ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ a week ago was not a fluke, Both films put up second-weekend numbers that would have been considered solid as debuts and reflect two of the best sophomore session holds in box office history.”

Oppenheimer Will Be One of Nolan’s Most Successful Movies Ever

Oppenheimer's ongoing success streak and impressive second weekend say plenty about the movie as a box office product. The result proves that its initial boom was not just down to the viral "Barbenheimer" trend, but rather that the movie, much like Barbie, has truly set the movie-going scene alight.

If Oppenheimer continues to win big in the comings days and week, it may overtake Dunkirk's $512.4 million to become Christopher Nolan's fifth-highest-grossing movie worldwide. However, the flick still has $112 million more to go before that happens, and after that, the chances are slim it could top the $647.8 million of Interstellar to take the number four spot for the director.

Oppeheimer's success is particularly impressive as its budget comes at the lower end of Nolan's filmography. The $100 million price tag comes far below all the director's other movies since his rise to stardom, meaning it may well turn out to be one of his most profitable outings ever.

This is only made more impressive when considering Oppenheimer is Nolan's first R-rated movie released in over 20 years. Obviously, the mature rating restricts its audience, and therefore box office potential, heavily.

The Nolan blockbuster has already become the 42nd highest-grossing R-rated movie ever, with it almost certain to cross well into the top 20 by the time it's done - the threshold for which being to beat The Intouchables' $484.9 million. 

Oppenheimer is playing now in theaters worldwide.

- In This Article: Oppenheimer
Release Date
July 21, 2023
Cillian Murphy
Matt Damon
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.