Christopher Nolan talks about ‘Tenet’ Release & Box Office Performance
Throughout the entire summer, it was only Christopher Nolan‘s Tenet that managed to provide cinemagoers with some form of entertainment. Otherwise, it has been a very dry year for movie enthusiasts, like me. Now, some might look at Tenet’s box office performance and conclude that it was a failure. However, when you put the pandemic into context, you’ll realize that the film managed to pull in great numbers. And that’s exactly what Nolan thinks. However, he is concerned about what the future holds and how these numbers will be perceived.
Christopher Nolan hopes Tenet’s box office numbers are not taken out of context
Recently, Christopher Nolan gave an interview to the LA Times, where he was promoting his involvement in Tom Shone’s new book “The Nolan Variations”. There, he also talked about Tenet’s performance at the box office, saying that it got him thrilled. He believes that the movie performed exceptionally well in the global markets. And that gives hope to the industry to want to rebuild the exhibition market. But, it was also a point of concern for him, and here’s why:
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. Long term, moviegoing is a part of life, like restaurants and everything else. But right now, everybody has to adapt to a new reality.
Now, with a COVID-19 vaccine looking well insight, there’s a chance that Christopher Nolan will be hearing some good news soon. Tenet actually did quite well at the box office globally, with around $293 million. It indeed performed better than the expectations, however, that wasn’t the case in North America. In the US, Tenet merely grossed a total of $53 million, with $20 million coming on the opening weekend. And these numbers came after the movie was delayed for release three times – from July 17 to July 31 to August 12 to September 3.
The new reality post-COVID
Nolan, ideally, shouldn’t have any reason to worry. By the looks of these numbers, they suggest that the audience in the US was just not ready to reenter the cinemas, especially compared to the international markets. And that’s probably why major studios pushed the release of their productions into 2021. These include No Time To Die and Dune. Moreover, due to COVID restrictions, studios have failed to create new content as well. That’s true for both movies as well as TV shows. So, Christopher Nolan is far from being the only one concerned about the film industry. Everyone has a keen eye on the market, and especially Nolan, who hopes Tenet will not be considered a failure just because of the meager numbers.
The future will be different after COVID-19, even if we get a vaccine. However, Nolan hopes that everyone takes a keen eye at the markets that did perform well regardless.