Oppenheimer overtakes Deadpool 2 for major R-rated box office milestone

Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, which premiered in 2019, still holds the top spot for the highest-grossing R-rated films of all time.

Oppenheimer is now the second highest-grossing R-rated film ever.
Oppenheimer is now the second highest-grossing R-rated film ever.

Oppenheimer has just set a new milestone. The Christopher Nolan-directed biopic has nudged 2016's Deadpool from a podium spot in the R-rated movies leaderboard.

The other half of the cultural phenomenon known as Barbenheimer displaced both Deadpool and its sequel, Deadpool 2, from the all-time highest-grossing R-rated films list. The biographical thriller now sits firmly in second place at $852 million. The Deadpool sequel earned $785 million while the 2016 original is now in fourth place with $782 million.

Oppenheimer still trails 2019's Joker, the only R-rated movie to have grossed over $1 billion at the global box office. The thriller based on the popular DC villain earned $1.074 billion worldwide during its theatrical run. It's likely that Joker will still end up as the highest-grossing R-rated film ever as Oppenheimer is close to ending its run on the big screen.

Christopher Nolan reportedly cut 30 days of filming to reallocate the budget for production design.

Oppenheimer did extremely well considering that it was filmed in just 60 days with a modest budget of $100 million. Nolan reportedly cut 30 days of filming to reallocate some of the budget to improving the production design and set.

"Just plane tickets alone and putting crew up all over the place [is expensive]. Not to mention I have to build Los Alamos, it doesn't exist," designer Ruth De Jong said on a recent episode of the Team Deakins podcast. "That's where I really felt like it was impossible. Chris said, 'Forget the money. Let's just design what we want.' So that's what we did."

Aside from being a commercial success, the film also received critical acclaim. The movie received a score of 93% from Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 88 from Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim". Pundits praised the movie's historical accuracy and Nolan's stunning visuals.

The film was shot on the IMAX 70mm large-format film and has gotten an extended theatrical run on IMAX theaters capable of showing the format. Fans of Oppenheimer say that seeing the movie on IMAX would be the best way to experience film.

Oppenheimer is the second R-rated movie to breach the $800 million barrier ever.

Barbie, on the other hand, has made its way to the top as the highest-grossing film of 2023. The Greta Gerwig fantasy comedy has finally surpassed The Super Mario Bros. Movie in its seventh week in theaters. According to a recent report by Deadline, Barbie has now grossed over $1.38 billion and is Warner Bros.'s biggest movie ever.

Barbenheimer has already grossed half of the summer's $4 billion box office revenue. More importantly, the pair also trounced established franchises like Mission: Impossible and Indiana Jones atop the summer blockbuster leaderboard. 

However, Oppenheimer and even Joker may have a worthy challenger next year as Ryan Reynolds returns as Deadpool in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. The two Deadpool movies have grossed really well considering they aren't part of the MCU. The third one, which features the addition of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and the rumored return of several X-Men characters, could be the recipe for an even bigger blockbuster. 

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Darryl Lara

Darryl Lara // Articles: 1110

Darryl has been gaming since the early 90s, loves to read books and watch TV. He spends his free time outside of gaming and books by riding his motorcycle and taking photographs. You can find Darryl on Instagram. Check him out on Steam and Xbox too.
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