Christopher Nolan says he is 'thrilled' with Tenet box office

Clark Collis
·2 min read

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Should writer-director Christopher Nolan's most recent film Tenet be regarded as a box office success? The science fiction-thriller has grossed $347 million around the globe since its release in September, much less than that earned by most of Nolan's films, including Inception ($826 million), Interstellar ($677 million), and the second two entries in his Dark Knight trilogy, both of which grossed in excess of a billion dollars. Tenet made just $53 million in the U.S., which, under normal circumstances, would be regarded as a catastrophic return on Warner Bros.' unconfirmed but presumably hefty investment. On the other hand, Nolan's repeatedly delayed film was released during the pandemic at a time when many Americans did not want to take the risk of visiting a cinema and several major markets, including Los Angeles and New York, were not open for business at all.

Nolan himself has now weighed in on the subject, describing himself as "thrilled" by the film's box office performance in an interview with the Los Angeles Times to promote author Tom Shone's book The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Marvels, and Mysteries of Christopher Nolan.

"Warner Bros. released Tenet, and I’m thrilled that it has made almost $350 million," says the director. "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."

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