Hot on the heels of Warner Bros’ announcement that Tenet will be released on home video in December, director Christopher Nolan has broken his silence on the film’s subpar box office collections.
Tenet, a science-fiction actioner, became the biggest post-Covid theatrical release in the world, after restrictions were eased in the US and across many European and Asian territories in September. But the film’s global haul of $350 million pales in comparison to Nolan’s other blockbusters, especially when you consider that it is widely reported to be, at a budget of $200 million, Nolan’s most expensive original film.
Nolan himself described it in an interview as the ‘most ambitious’ project of his career. In an interview to the Los Angeles Times, in conjunction with the release of a book about his films, he said, “Warner Bros. released Tenet, and I’m thrilled that it has made almost $350 million. But I am worried that the studios are drawing the wrong conclusions from our release — that rather than looking at where the film has worked well and how that can provide them with much needed revenue, they’re looking at where it hasn’t lived up to pre-Covid expectations and will start using that as an excuse to make exhibition take all the losses from the pandemic instead of getting in the game and adapting — or rebuilding our business, in other words.”
Several studios were reportedly observing Tenet’s theatrical performance to decide whether to release their films or not. Since then, several major films such as Death on the Nile, No Time to Die and Black Widow have been further delayed.
Nolan continued, “Long term, moviegoing is a part of life, like restaurants and everything else. But right now, everybody has to adapt to a new reality.”
Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Dimple Kapadia, Clemence Poesy, Kenneth Branagh and others. Nolan’s highest-grossing film is The Dark Knight Rises, which made over $1 billion worldwide, like its predecessor, The Dark Knight. His biggest original films — Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk — have all made between $500 and $900 million worldwide.
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