Paving The Way For Oppenheimer: 5 Most Successful Biopics, Ranked

Paving The Way For Oppenheimer: 5 Most Successful Biopics, Ranked
Image credit: Universal Pictures, 20th Century Studios

These five prove that even such a seemingly niche genre as biographical film can turn a serious profit.

Christopher Nolan 's biographical drama about the "father of the atomic bomb" has just officially become the highest-grossing biopic of all time, earning $912.7 million against a budget of $100 million.

Considering the genre's lack of mainstream appeal, this accomplishment seems especially impressive, though Oppenheimer is far from the first biopic to make a big splash.

So here are five of the most successful biopics that paved the way for Nolan's masterpiece.

5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Martin Scorsese 's black comedy starring Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life financial criminal Jordan Belfort (who even got a cameo in the film) was, like most of the legendary director's work, exceptionally well received by critics and audiences alike, grossing $406.9 million against a $100 million budget.

4. The King's Speech (2010)

Starring Colin Firth as King George VI, the film follows the monarch's attempts to rid himself of the stutter that has plagued his life since his youth.

It led him to seek the help of therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, whom he befriended along the way. With a budget of only $15 million, the film was a critical and financial success, grossing $427.4 million worldwide.

3. The Greatest Showman (2017)

This musical drama revolves around P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, and follows his struggles to become the titular "greatest showman."

Though the movie received rather mixed reviews, it still managed to justify its $84 million budget and earned a hefty sum of $435 million at the box office.

2. American Sniper (2014)

Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, this war drama is based on Chris Kyle's memoir of the same name.

Both audiences and critics praised Cooper's acting performance, and while it sparked controversy for its portrayal of the Iraq War, it didn't stop American Sniper from being a success, grossing $547.4 million against a $59 million budget.

1. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Until Oppenheimer recently claimed the top spot, Bohemian Rhapsody was considered the most successful biopic of all time.

Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Rami Malek, it followed the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the legendary band Queen.

Considering the iconic status of the band and Malek's outstanding performance, it is no wonder that the movie grossed an astounding $910.8 million against a budget of only $50-55 million.