Nolan Laughs Off Hollywood Decline Talk After Making $1B from B&W Biopic

Nolan Laughs Off Hollywood Decline Talk After Making $1B from B&W Biopic
Image credit: Legion-Media, Universal Pictures

“Movie industry is not in the best shape,” they say. “Duh,” Christopher Nolan replies.


  • Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of talk about Hollywood’s decline.
  • Christopher Nolan waves off such talk, considering how unlikely successful his Oppenheimer turned out to be.
  • Nolan’s latest Cillian Murphy-led movie earned almost $1B at the worldwide box office despite being a seemingly niche film.

Everything in life is just a matter of perspective. When you’re earning a hefty sum, it doesn’t look like the economy is doing poorly; but get laid off, and you’ll be overwhelmed by the current prices. In Hollywood, it’s kind of the same thing: while some directors fail to scrape together enough revenue to break even, others, like Christopher Nolan, make a bill from the most unlikely movie imaginable.

“Films Are Doing Great,” Nolan Declares

For Christopher Nolan, 2023 was a phenomenal year. The director’s ultimate magnum opus Oppenheimer made not waves but tsunamis all over the world, completely dominating the theaters hand-in-hand with Barbie against all odds. In his recent interview with Empire, Nolan addressed the so-called “Hollywood decline” in his signature manner: with humor and self-targeted quips.

“I’ve just made a three-hour film about Robert Oppenheimer which is R-rated and half in black-and-white — and it made a billion dollars. Of course I think films are doing great! <...> So I feel great about the state of the movie business, based on my own experience. But also based on seeing other movies break out,” Nolan shared.

We feel you, sir. We also feel much better about the world when we’re succeeding.

Nolan’s Oppenheimer Fell Just Short of $1B

Despite the director’s claim that his R-rated three-hour-long black-and-white physicist’s biopic (which is a real mouthful to even type) raked up a billion dollars at the box office, it’s not entirely true. Oppenheimer was definitely almost in there, happily sniffing the same air as the billion-dollar-club movies, but its run ended just a bit too early.

Nolan Laughs Off Hollywood Decline Talk After Making $1B from B&W Biopic - image 1

In total, Oppenheimer has earned just over $960M so far, falling offensively short of the magical $1B mark. There are just a few small theaters in the world where it’s still running today, though, and they add to the movie’s total revenue little by little, but there isn’t much hope of them raking up that extra $40M for Nolan’s masterpiece.

Don’t get us wrong, “almost $1B” is just as impressive as just $1B in this case, considering that Christopher Nolan’s latest movie was — take a deep breath — an R-rated three-hour-long black-and-white biopic about a physicist.

Source: Empire