“Oppenheimer” IMAX Run Extended Due to Popular Demand
The Oppenheimer phenomenon continues on the biggest screens.
Due to popular demand, Christopher Nolan’s epic biopic about J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by a sensational Cillian Murphy) will stay in IMAX theaters nationwide through the end of August. Previously, Oppenheimer was scheduled to conclude its run on IMAX 70mm format on August 17, but now exhibitors will keep Nolan’s masterpiece on those colossal screens through August thanks to massive demand.
The love for Nolan’s film, one part of the Barbenheimer phenomenon that swept the nation on July 21 when Nolan’s film and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie opened simultaneously, is not surprising. Yet this extended run in IMAX theaters is especially poignant considering Nolan’s longstanding love of the format—he’s arguably its greatest champion, having used IMAX cameras on many of his films and tirelessly promoting the beauty and the spectacle it provides.
Nolan recently explained his love for the format in an Oppenheimer video: “Oppenheimer’s story is one of the biggest stories imaginable. Our film tries to take you into his experience, and IMAX, for me, is a portal into a level of immersion that you can’t get from other formats.” His longtime collaborator, cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, explained how Oppenheimer used the format not only for the major spectacles (like the Trinity Test, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon) but the quieter moments, too. “IMAX is a format of spectacle, it’s made for vistas and the grandeur, but I got very curious to discover this as an intimate format,” Hoytema said. “The face is like a landscape; there’s a huge complexity and huge depth to it. How can we get this camera closer to people? How can we get this medium also as a very intimate medium.”
The 70mm film prints for Oppenheimer were roughly 11 miles long and weighed 600 pounds. The amount of time and effort it takes to process all that film is considerable, but the results speak for themselves. Oppenheimer has already exploded to $550 million at the global box office, a massive milestone for an R-rated drama that’s more than three hours long and tackles such a weighty subject. IMAX theaters have accounted for a massive $114.2 million of that, which is incredible when you consider that currently, there are only 19 theaters in the United States and 30 worldwide that have the capability to play films in 70mm, so those tickets are often the hardest to get. If you’re a Nolan fan and haven’t yet seen Oppenheimer in an IMAX theater, you’ve now got a much better chance at making that happen.
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Featured image: Cillian Murphy is J. Robert Oppenheimer in OPPENHEIMER, written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan.