Oppenheimer Is Now The Highest-Grossing Biopic Of All Time

Weirdly, movie studios now appear to dislike the phrase “biopic.” The objection was comprehensible within the case of final 12 months’s controversial pic “Blonde,” which was primarily based on a e-book that imagines a fictionalized tackle the lifetime of Marilyn Monroe, however the truth that all biopics are fictionalized to a certain extent created a lot of confusion. However this 12 months, forward of the discharge of “Maestro,” a movie starring Bradley Cooper as composer Leonard Bernstein, Netflix contacted members of the press to particularly request that the time period “biographical drama” be used as an alternative.

Maybe that is partly pushed by consciousness of the truth that biopics are cynically perceived as awards bait, notably since “Bohemian Rhapsody” swept the 2019 Oscars, selecting up 4 wins regardless of very combined evaluations. In contrast to “Oppenheimer,” which was boldly and efficiently positioned as a giant summer season film, “Bohemian Rhapsody” had a strategic awards season launch, hitting theaters in November 2018, sustaining a gradual maintain by way of the winter, and getting a few early 2019 boosts because of the Oscars protection and subsequent wins. (It is price noting that field workplace information aren’t sometimes adjusted for inflation, and the worldwide complete for “Bohemian Rhapsody” would really be equal to round $1.1 billion in 2023 {dollars}.)

When you would possibly assume that the success of biopics correlates with how well-known the topic is, the highest-grossing movies within the style are principally ones the place the “primarily based on a real story” facet is an additional edge as an alternative of the principle hook. These embody battle movie “American Sniper” ($547.4 million worldwide), musical extravaganza “The Best Showman” ($435.7 million), and Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Road” ($406.8 million). Whereas the world’s love of Queen may need been the driving drive for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the record-breaking take for “Oppenheimer” most likely owes extra to the apocalyptic weight of the subject material and the power of Nolan’s model as an auteur filmmaker. Plus, after all, all those expensive IMAX tickets.


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