Oppenheimer's IMAX Run Extended Due to Record-Breaking Numbers

Oppenheimer will screen in IMAX theaters through August.

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer is extending its exclusive run in IMAX. The 3-hour, R-rated epic about the creation of the atomic bomb opened opposite box office behemoth Barbie on July 21st and helped fuel the company's fourth-best weekend ever, according to IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond. Shot for IMAX with IMAX film cameras, Oppenheimer originally secured an exclusive three-week run in the premium format (including special presentations in IMAX 70mm film). But after surpassing $400 million globally over its second weekend, Oppenheimer will continue to screen in IMAX through mid-August before those screens shift to DC's Blue Beetle and Sony's just pushed-back Gran Turismo

IMAX said in a statement: "In light of its extraordinary performance, IMAX is extending Oppenheimer's run an additional week through August 16/17, with plans to bring-back IMAX showtimes of Oppenheimer in the late summer/fall, as availability permits."

After Blue Beetle and Gran Turismo, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary locked down IMAX screens for Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi epic Dune: Part Two, which will push out Marvel Studios' The Marvels during its exclusive six-week run in IMAX. Oppenheimer's eventual return to IMAX could contend with Tom Cruise and Paramount's Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which lost its screens to Nolan after one week. According to Gelfond, Mission: Impossible could be re-issued in IMAX after Oppenheimer.

"I feel sad in a way we can't accommodate all of them. I know Mission: Impossible is going to be a really big movie," the IMAX CEO told Variety in June, before "Barbenheimer" blew past expectations at the box office. "Nolan has a special place in IMAX's heart because he uses our cameras and promotes us. It's not a matter of us saying which we can make more money on. I would hope after Oppenheimer's run, we can bring back Mission."

Both Barbie and Oppenheimer contributed to what Gelfond referred to as "a historic few days at the global box office" during an earnings call last week.

"In a weekend where moviegoing reasserted itself as an unparalleled cultural and commercial force, IMAX demonstrated its ever-strengthening position at the vanguard of cinema," Gelfond said on the call. "The paradigm shift to IMAX has never been more apparent. IMAX obliterated expectations with a $35 million opening for Oppenheimer, delivering a staggering 20% of the film's global debut on only 740 screens. In China, we delivered more than 16% for local blockbuster, Creation of the Gods, on just 1% of total screens, our best-ever indexing for China film. And we scored 20% of the debut of Mission: Impossible 7 in Japan on just 48 screens."

The combined $46.4 million weekend was the fourth-best in the history of IMAX, said Gelfond, adding "there is real heat" around the IMAX brand and technology in the marketplace. 

In Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy plays theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, leading a starry cast that includes Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) as Oppenheimer's wife, biologist and botanist Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer, Matt Damon (AIR) as General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Endgame) as Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Oppenheimer also reunites Nolan with his Batman star Gary Oldman as Harry S. Truman and features Florence Pugh (Dune: Part Two) as psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Benny Safdie (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret) as theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano (Minx) as Robert Serber, and Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night) as pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence.