Nolan Believes Studios Learned The Wrong Lessons From ‘Tenet’ Box Office

Christopher Nolan

Count Christopher Nolan as one who is optimistic the movie theater industry will rebound. Let’s face it, this was not the outcome most people predicted the movie industry would be in this year.  Just off the heels of the most successful financial year in movie theater history the future is still undecided. While most people think that the movie industry will eventually rebound it is more of a question of timing.  While the future is still clouded famed movie director Christopher Nolan is optimistic.


In a recent LA Times interview Christopher Nolan had this to say about the current state of the movie industry.

Well, it’s a difficult question to speak to. If you’re talking about the acceleration of existing trends, that’s something I started reading right at the beginning of the pandemic. And it ignores the reality that 2019 was the biggest year for theatrical films in history. They’d made the most money. The admissions were huge. So to me, it’s much more about: What’s the new reality we’re living in?

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.

Also Check Out: Tenet One Of Nolan’s Lowest Opening Weekends Ever — Has The U.S. Box Office Spoken?

A sense of optimism is something that hasn’t been heard a lot in Hollywood or around the world recently.  There are some positives that Nolan was able to point out that most have looked over.  The fact that Tenet made over $350 million during a worldwide pandemic and a majority of the biggest theater markets were closed is pretty remarkable.  Would Tenet have made more money without a pandemic? Sure, but remember that Nolan films are very polarized in the box office and besides The Dark Knight trilogy most of his films grow in popularity over time.  As Tenet is released On Demand and DVD we should expect those sales to be larger than normal because it is a Nolan film.

While the movie industry took the worst hit in history this year, the sense of coming back stronger and better than ever seems to be the reality and not a fairy tale.

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Michael "Shockey" Connally is a Senior Editor and the Site Administrator for LRM. He has a passion for all sports, comics, and everything Star Wars.

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