Oppenheimer has finally broken the 100-crore mark at the Indian box office, becoming the highest-grossing IMAX film from Hollywood in India. Having completed nearly two weeks in theatres, the film has comprehensively outsold Barbie in terms of ticket sales, with the latter having reportedly collected Rs. 32.75 crore. The tables are turned on the global scale, however, with the Christopher Nolan film having earned $412.4 million (about Rs. 3,406 crore), while Barbie is on track to cross the $800-million (about Rs. 6,606 crore) mark. It currently sits right behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as the third-highest-grossing film of the year.
Meanwhile, Oppenheimer sits comfortably in the 11th position, having grossed $181.4 million (about Rs. 1,498 crore) within the US and Canada, and pooling in another $231 million (about Rs. 1,908 crore). In India especially, the film debuted exceptionally well, selling 1.7 million tickets via BookMyShow, during the three-day opening weekend. In fact, the ‘Barbenheimer’ event as a whole has been beneficial for Indian cinemas, where Hindi-language films have been struggling to dominate. PVR Inox — the biggest movie theatre chain in the country — saw a big jump in revenue as July came in blasting with three big blockbusters — Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Barbie, and Oppenheimer.
It’s also worth noting that in India, Oppenheimer was released in both English and Hindi, thereby catering to a larger audience, while Barbie featured no additional language dubs. Of course, the biggest contributor to both film’s success has to be the internet memes that poked fun at the contrasting themes and fan-made merchandise. The aforementioned figures have placed Oppenheimer as the sixth highest-grossing film from Nolan, having beat Batman Begins, which benefitted from some re-releases to reach $373.6 million (about Rs. 3,088 crore). Considering that the film was also R-rated for nudity and language — the filmmaker’s first in nearly two decades — this marks a significant achievement, especially when its actors couldn’t properly promote the film due to the SAG-AFTRA strikes.
The success of both films is good for keeping the theatre business running, but there’s bound to be a drop in performance thanks to the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood. With both film and TV productions now at a standstill, for cinema operators, this emulates the same feeling as the pandemic era that caused moviegoers to stay at home. Fearing the worst, even movie studios have begun delaying major releases into the next year. Earlier this week, Sony Pictures delayed Kraven the Hunter by 11 months, going from October 6 to August 11, 2024. Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse’s actors cannot do any voiceover acting during the strike, which caused the studio to remove its initial March 2024 date. Even Warner Bros. has been reportedly considering moving Dune: Part Two, as its star cast will be unable to do any promotional work.
Both Oppenheimer and Barbie are currently playing in theatres worldwide.