When speaking to the Los Angeles Times, filmmaker Christopher Nolan opened about his recent film Tenet and its box office performance amid the global health crisis.
There’s no denying the film, which brought in $50 million at the domestic box office and just about $350 million worldwide, didn’t perform as many expected. However, Nolan feels like people are taking away the wrong message from the box office numbers, explaining to writer Josh Rottenberg that he wants people to understand the situation from his point-of-view.
“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.”
While Nolan remains optimistic about the future, the current landscape for the theatrical model isn’t looking great, with the bulk of this year’s titles pushed into 2021 and a number of cinema chains edging towards bankruptcy as their doors remain closed. Another Warner Bros. film looks set try to find an audience this Christmas with Wonder Woman 1984 however, so let’s see if the studio and exhibitors have learned any lessons from the Tenet experiment.
Armed with only one word – Tenet – and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time. Not time travel. Inversion.
Tenet sees Christopher Nolan directing a cast that includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.