Remember Tenet? Christopher Nolan’s newest time-travel movie, the one with John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, the one that was released in theaters in the middle of a global pandemic? Ah yes, that Tenet. Two months after its domestic release, Nolan has some personal news: He’s “thrilled” at the blockbuster’s modest $350 million returns. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times about The Nolan Variations, a new book of interviews and film criticism analyzing Nolan’s work, the director reflected on the movie’s release: “Warner Bros. released Tenet, and I’m thrilled that it has made almost $350 million,” he said. “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.”
You hear that, movie studios? Tenet was big. Huge! Tenet wasn’t a flop, it didn’t underperform — it was actually a rebirth. Tenet’s beleaguered theatrical release and it’s healthy-but-not-excellent opening numbers in no way signal the death knell of the theatrical experience. [Don’t] sit back and relax. Soothe your weary souls with an answer to absolutely the most pressing question of our time: Tenet did fine.