Oppenheimer has overtaken Bohemian Rhapsody to become the highest ever grossing biopic at the worldwide box office.
Christopher Nolan’s film about J Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos laboratory that developed the first nuclear weapons, has passed $912m in revenue across the globe since its cinema release on 19 July, according to the Box Office Mojo website. Bohemian Rhapsody, which focused on Freddie Mercury and the band Queen, took over $910m following its release in October 2018.
Oppenheimer has no doubt benefited from its simultaneous release with Barbie, an even bigger box-office hit (currently standing at $1.4bn worldwide), with the #Barbenheimer hashtag encouraging cinemagoers to watch both films. Bohemian Rhapsody had considerable help from its success on the awards circuit, winning four Oscars, including best actor for Rami Malek, two Baftas and two Golden Globes. Oppenheimer, which stars Cillian Murphy, also features Malek in small role as nuclear physicist David L Hill.
Prior to Bohemian Rhapsody, the most successful biopic was American Sniper, about US army marksman Chris Kyle ($547m) and released in 2014; other successful examples of the genre include royal drama The King’s Speech ($484m), Phineas T Barnum musical The Greatest Showman ($435m), and stock-market crime comedy The Wolf of Wall Street ($406m).
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