Nolan’s Old Hit Paves Way For Dune 2 (And Finally Gets the Box Office It Deserves)

Nolan’s Old Hit Paves Way For Dune 2 (And Finally Gets the Box Office It Deserves)
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Tenet’s re-release not only warmed people up for Dune: Part Two, but also had a greater success than the initial release in 2020.


  • This week Tenet was back in theaters in IMAX to promote Dune: Part Two.
  • It earned $600,000 over the weekend with a per-theater average of more than $10,000.
  • Tenet underperformed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, earning only $365.3 million worldwide.

As we can recall, Tenet is a sci-fi action thriller starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, showing a former CIA agent (Washington) who got into a secret organization with the task to trace the origin of objects that are traveling backwards through time and their relation to an attack to the present from the future.

On February 23, Warner Bros. re-launched Christopher Nolan ’s Tenet in 55 select IMAX locations across the globe to support the subsequent release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, giving a special preview for the movie before the showings of Tenet. Villeneuve himself was very glad of this WB decision, as he said he would be “eager” to see Tenet in 70mm Imax, “to fully appreciate his [Nolan’s] vision for this incredible film”.

Over the last weekend, Tenet's re-release brought in a total of $600,000 with a per-theater average of more than $10,000, which is quite an impressive number.

Back in 2020, Tenet was the first major studio film to get a wide release after the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. It was a controversial idea given people’s fear to go to crowded places, the lack of vaccines and other realities of that time.

Nolan’s Old Hit Paves Way For Dune 2 (And Finally Gets the Box Office It Deserves) - image 1

The movie ended up underperforming at the worldwide box office and grossed $365 million, costing more than $200 million as one of Nolan’s most expensive projects. This failure and other disagreements with Warner Bros. made Nolan finish his collaboration with the studio.

His epic biographical thriller Oppenheimer was released by Universal and performed a huge success both at the box office, grossing over $960 million worldwide, and in streaming services, and received 13 nominations at the upcoming Oscars.

However, Nolan told Variety that his feud with Warner Bros. is now “water under the bridge,” and that he would work with them again, even despite their 2020 mistake.

Even though Tenet failed at the initial box office, we face its rise in popularity and people’s developing interest in it, which is confirmed by the gross of its re-release. You can stream this underrated inventive sci-fi on Netflix and rate it on your own.

Source: Variety