Soon to enter its ninth weekend since release, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is still showing in certain IMAX, 70mm, and other sorts of theatre screens. For several reasons, such achievement is amazing. Oppenheimer, a three-hour drama film with a lot of language, is currently the third-highest-grossing film of 2023 after earning over $900 million. One of the year’s finest films still has a possibility of generating over $1 billion, which is amazing.
Theatre windows are growing narrower and smaller these days, and despite Barbie’s tremendous theatrical success—which notably debuted the same weekend as Oppenheimer—it is now possible to rent films at home. But like Tom Cruise with Top Gun 2 and James Cameron with Avatar 2, Christopher Nolan has emphasised to Oppenheimer the value of the theatre experience.
There has been a huge interest in watching Oppenheimer on larger-than-average movie theatre screens like IMAX and 70mm. Denis Villeneuve, the director of Dune, and Paul Thomas Anderson have both lately said how pleased they are with Oppenheimer’s success and how important it is for the theatrical experience and the continued existence of movie theatres.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who could disagree – seeing Oppenheimer on film is superior in every single way,” Paul Thomas Anderson told AP. “Not to mention, people are tired of asking, ‘Why would I go to a movie theatre to watch TV?’ Good question…you don’t have to anymore.”
“The future of cinema is IMAX and the large formats,” Denis Villeneuve also told AP. “The audience wants to see something that they cannot have at home, that they cannot have on streaming. They want to experience an event.”
Villeneuve added; “That movies like Oppenheimer are released on the big screen and become an event brings back a spotlight on the idea that it’s a tremendous art form that needs to be experienced in theaters.”
Villeneuve has a stake in the outcome because he will shortly release Dune 2, which was shot with IMAX cameras like Oppenheimer.
The war film won’t be accessible for home viewing until late November, according to Emma Thomas, an Oppenheimer producer and Nolan’s wife. It appears that it will continue in theatres for as long as there is a demand.