‘Oppenheimer’ officially won ‘Barbenheimer’ by cleaning up at the Oscars

Barbie may have made more money at the box office — over $1.4 billion globally to Oppenheimer’s $958 million, according to Box Office Mojo data — but the Christopher Nolan-directed epic about the making of the atomic bomb took home seven Academy Awards tonight, including Best Director, Best Actor, and the coveted Best Picture.

Oppenheimer’s pink-clad rival, despite a solid performance of “I’m Just Ken” by Ryan Gosling, was nominated in nine categories but took home zero statuettes.

An Oscar in and of itself won’t close that financial gap between the two movies for Universal Pictures, the distributor behind Oppenheimer, but the “Oscar bump” does give a film and the studio behind it a certain cachet that, yes, can translate into more dollars where it’s still available. But also, moving from “nominee” to “winner” makes everyone involved with the film — from producer to editor — that much more marketable for other projects.

In other words, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt’s friendly argument on stage tonight about which movie performed better last summer may have been a case of speaking too soon.

Snubs for the streamers, accolades for the indies

Notably, the envelopes contained almost no names of streamers. Netflix was called only once: Wes Anderson The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. Both Netflix and Apple had been in the running for Best Picture for Maestro and Killers of the Flower Moon, respectively.

Last year, Netflix won six Oscars, and has nabbed 23 since 2017.

Instead, the Academy Awards in 2024 was a battle between Universal Pictures and independent studios, which grabbed nearly all of the awards that did not go to Oppenheimer.

Cord Jefferson, director of Best Picture nominee American Fiction, said to film executives during his acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay, “I understand that this is a risk-averse industry, I get it, but $200 million movies are also a risk. And it doesn’t always work out, but you take the risk anyway. Instead of making one $200 million movie, try making 20 $10 million movies. Or 50 $4 million movies.”

Jefferson told Screen Daily that the budget for his film, which was eventually picked up by Amazon MGM Studios, was less than $10 million. According to Box Office Mojo, it made $22.5 million at the box office.