The Big Picture
- Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer was not only critically acclaimed but also a financial success, proving the power of the theatrical experience.
- The film’s use of IMAX format and film prints garnered a strong audience response and broke records in China, becoming one of the highest-grossing IMAX releases in America.
- Despite claims that cinema is dying, Oppenheimer reached a younger audience who appreciated the care and attention put into the film’s presentation and valued the big screen experience.
When Christopher Nolan‘s Oppenheimer was released, it was met with critical acclaim, but the financial success of the film was something deeper than just that of a film doing well. For Nolan, it was a victory for the theatrical experience. Nolan has passionately advocated for the advantages of IMAX filming for several years, establishing himself as an industry leader in optimizing the format’s potential. Referred to by Nolan as the “gold standard” of film, Oppenheimer played in 70mm IMAX format in just 30 locations worldwide, with fans booking tickets weeks, and indeed months, in advance just to see it.
For the director, as he explained to Collider’s Perri Nemiroff while promoting the upcoming home entertainment release of Oppenheimer, seeing that audience response to heading to the multiplex and enjoying the visual experience of the film as he intended was the most gratifying aspect of the release process. The film broke a number of records upon release, the longer it was in cinemas, and even broke the all-time record in China. In addition, the film cracked the top three highest-grossing IMAX releases of all time, tucked in behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avatar, which was scarcely believable even for the film’s mastermind, given the topic at hand—a three-hour picture about a nuclear physicist.
“One of the things that we got a very visible response to was the theatrical presentation, the IMAX presentation in particular, using film and using film prints that went out there into the world. Those screens, in particular, I mean, we broke the all-time record of the Chinese with the print we had there. I think, as of last weekend, we became the third highest-grossing IMAX film in America after Star Wars and Avatar. I mean, for a film about J. Robert Oppenheimer, it was extraordinary.”
Not only that, but for Nolan, there was a feeling that claims of cinema being a dying art, for older generations was patently untrue, based on the younger audiences the film reached. While movies are easily accessible on phones, tablets, and games consoles now, the big screen can never be replaced.
“But that, to me, was a response to the care and attention we were putting into the presentation of the film as well as the film. It’s just thrilling to watch young people owning movies in their own way and saying what’s important to them about getting out of the house, getting to a theater, and enjoying the film in a way. And it’s really wonderful to see a new generation doing that.”
Where Can I Watch ‘Oppenheimer’?
Fans will be able to buy Oppenheimer on 4K Blu-ray DVDs physically from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart. Digital storefronts, like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Vudu, Xfinity, YouTube, Microsoft, and Verizon, will also make the film available to stream on November 21.
The story of American scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
- Release Date
- July 21, 2023
- Christopher Nolan
- Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr.
- Main Genre
- War, Biography, Drama
- Kai Bird, Christopher Nolan, Martin J. Sherwin
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Khushi Patel is a science fiction author who lives in Austin, Texas. She has published three novels, and her work has been praised for its originality and imagination. Khushi is a graduate of Rice University, and she has worked as a software engineer. She is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and her books have been nominated for several awards.