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‘Oppenheimer’ Going R-Rated Surely Hands the Box Office Victory to ‘Barbie’ on a Plate

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Photo via Universal Pictures

The blockbuster heavyweight matchup of 2023 just had its scales tipped in a stunning turn of events. As far as box office numbers go, it would be wise to place all the bets on Barbie after Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer was revealed to have been given an R rating.

To speak frankly for just a moment, the marquee matchup narrative is nothing but a bit of whimsical fun; in no way will Oppenheimer‘s R rating diminish the actual quality of the movie, nor cause any concerns for any mature moviegoer, frequent or casual. Nevertheless, we can probably expect a far less tight box office race between the two, as an R-rating will make for a hard cutoff for some would-be audience members.

Of course, Barbie doesn’t exactly look to be a family outing either, but at least it still has the luxury of allowing high school students to buy tickets.

Realistically, this probably highlights Nolan’s true intentions more than anything; namely as an awards season shoo-in rather than a box office monster. The film was slapped with the aforementioned R rating for “some sexuality, nudity, and language,” and while I certainly don’t know the full story behind history’s most important man, it’s probably safe to say that if Nolan concerned himself at all with avoiding an R rating, he could have made a cut without those aforementioned elements.

On top of that, ruling Oppenheimer out as a box office success entirely is quite a dishonest way of looking at things; with a budget of $100 million and the electrifying buzz and subject matter, we doubt Universal is going to regret backing this one. Barbie may end up winning the match, but Oppenheimer could still very much win the night.

About the author

Charlotte Simmons

Charlotte Simmons

Charlotte is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered, a graduate of St. Thomas University’s English program, a fountain of film opinions, and the single biggest fan of Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong,’ probably. Having written professionally since 2018, her work has also appeared in The Town Crier and The East


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