The past few months have been filled to the brim with notable 2023 new movie releases, some of which have managed to make serious impressions at the box office. What’s arguably been the biggest BO story of the year is the dual success of Barbie and Oppenhimer, which opened on the same weekend. The double billing, dubbed “Barbenheimer” by fans, became a sensation and a massive boon for the film industry. As all that happened though, another notable flick fell short of expectations – Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Director Chris McQuarrie is now speaking out about his and Tom Cruise’s latest M:I sequel being overtaken by the other two blockbusters.
Some may remember that Christopher McQuarrie threw his support to Oppenheimer and Barbie earlier this summer. He and Tom Cruise hyped up the summer releases, with the actor sharing some sweet sentiments that garnered a response from Margot Robbie. Of course, that was all before the box office receipts came in. Don’t think, however, that McQuarrie is disappointed over his movie being passed financially. He spoke with the Empire Spoiler Specials podcast (via Screen Rant), expressing joy and sending some major kudos Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig’s way:
I couldn’t be more delighted. We meant what we said when we went out and bought those tickets. I meant what I said when I went on Twitter – my last ever post on Twitter – and said, ‘Go pink or go home.’ Could not be more thrilled for Margot [Robbie], who I think is an extraordinary talent, a mega-star. And I’m delighted for the validation that the movie gives to that part of Margot that is that mega-star. And I hope the lessons learned from that are applied. Couldn’t be more thrilled for Greta.
Needless to say, the Jack Reacher director is a very good sport, and his praise didn’t stop there. He also shouted out Christopher Nolan for being able to sell Oppenheimer – a three-hour historical drama with nudity – to the general public. He called it “one helluva marketing strategy” and seemed giddy over how successful it proved to be. During the interview, the filmmaker, like Francis Ford Coppola, also explained how Barbenheimer’s success is a “triumph” for cinema:
And it’s a triumph for original movies. It’s a triumph for films that are not sequels. And in the case of Oppenheimer, a drama. What movies used to be all the time. Tom and I just look at each other all the time like, ‘Man, it’s just about quality.’
Christopher McQuarrie’s latest movie was thought to be a heavy-hitter during the summer blockbuster season. Ultimately, M:I 7 was well received critically, though its $560 million worldwide haul served as somewhat of a box office disappointment due to the pricey production costs. With that, like The Flash and Indiana Jones, it resulted in financial losses for its studio, which in this case is Paramount Pictures.
Meanwhile, both Barbie and Oppenheimer continue to make waves. The latter has grossed $1.38 billion worldwide and is the highest grossing film of 2023, and Greta Gerwig is also the first solo female director to helm a $1 billion movie. Christopher Nolan’s epic has also been raking in dough, as it’s earned over $850 million worldwide. With that, it’s the third-highest-grossing film of this year and the second-highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. As Christopher McQuarrie mentioned, this is certainly a major win for the industry and, while sequels are fun, let’s hope other original movies have similar success moving forward.
Both Barbie and Oppenheimer are still playing in a sizable amount of theaters, with the former primed to kick off an IMAX run later this month. You can also still find a handful of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One screenings.