July is going to be chock-a-block for moviegoers with a whole bunch of widely anticipated films dropping, starting on July 12 with Tom Cruise’s latest "Mission: Impossible" offering.  Nine days later, two others will go head to head at the box office – "Oppenheimer", starring Cillian Murphy, and "Barbie", fronted by Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and a host of other notables including Nicola Coughlan of "Derry Girls".

That’s quite a competition brewing for audience dollars.  There’s no question that "Mission: Impossible" will emerge as the summer box office champ – and quite possibly for the year – but what of "Oppenheimer" and "Barbie"?  

This is Cork-born Murphy’s first time at the top of a blockbuster, and it’s got great advance word of mouth – no reviews yet, as they’re still embargoed – but according to early industry tracking Barbie will likely beat "Oppenheimer" when it comes to earnings, at least in the first few days after opening.

"Barbie", based on the real-life Mattel doll, vs. "Oppenheimer", based on the creator of the atomic bomb.  Let’s go!

“From Warner Bros., Barbie could open to a beatific $70 million to $80 million, if not more, according to sources who have access to tracking data (and there’s plenty of upside). Warners is being more cautious, suggesting $60 million,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Universal and (writer-director Christopher) Nolan’s Oppenheimer is tracking for a domestic debut in the $40 million range. For Oppenheimer — an R-rated, three-hour drama targeting adults — having legs could prove far more important than its opening weekend haul.”

Oppenheimer has a top-tier cast that also includes Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh.  British star Pugh said she was thrilled to work with Murphy.

“It’s a Christopher Nolan movie, number one, and number two, he has one of the most incredible leads. Cillian Murphy is an actor that I have been watching for quite some time and have been desperate to work with for ages. You’d have to be mad to say no. It felt like I was playing sports with some of the best athletes, so it was truly one of the best experiences that I’ve had,” she recently told the press.