Christopher Nolan thinks film industry took “wrong conclusions” from ‘Tenet’ release

"They’re looking at where it hasn’t lived up to pre-COVID expectations"

Christopher Nolan has defended the box office results of Tenet.

The time-travelling epic, released in August in the UK but staggered to reach cinemas later in the US, grossed nearly $350million (£269million) at the global box office.

Commenting on the future of the film industry and the takings for Tenet, Nolan told the Los Angeles Times that the numbers might be used to “draw the wrong conclusions” under the current climate, as cinemas were shut in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco when the film was released.


“Warner Bros. released Tenet, and I’m thrilled that it has made almost $350 million,” the filmmaker began. “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.”

He added: “Long term, moviegoing is a part of life, like restaurants and everything else. But right now, everybody has to adapt to a new reality.”

In a five-star review of Tenet, NME said: “Tenet is rarely less than thrilling to watch. It’s a challenging, ambitious and genuinely original film packed with compelling performances – Washington and Debicki are especially excellent – which confirms Nolan as the master of the cerebral blockbuster.”