Christopher Nolan's Hissy Fit

What we are saying is that Nolan is a prima donna who sounds like he got passed over for the slow dance with a Rockefeller at the debutante ball
Image courtesy of Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

So Christopher Nolan had a public meltdown over Warner Bros.' decision to release all of their 2021 films simultaneously at the theaters (or what's left of them) and on HBO Max. Apparently HBO Max is just "the worst" and Warner Bros. is Hollywood's version of the antichrist.  

OK, so he didn't say "antichrist" but you get the idea.  

At issue is the fact that without theatrical releases, you cannot spend $200+ million on a big budget film because they only work on big screens. No, not YOUR big screen.  Think 90 feet by 30 feet.

What is getting passed over in the flurry of articles about Nolan this week is the fact that he has a tendency to spend more money than he can get his hands on to make a movie. Keep in mind this is the guy who prefers to use real film rather than digital (he collaborated with other filmmakers to save Kodak from bankruptcy to keep real film as an option), expensive on-site locations instead of studios, and has popularized the use of IMAX cameras (which cost $250k-$350k for non-3D, $1 million for 3D).

No one is saying that Nolan isn't brilliant. He is, in his own post-modern, slightly creepy way. What we are saying is that Nolan is a prima donna who sounds like he got passed over for the slow dance with a Rockefeller at the debutante ball.

Nolan knows (or he should) that great film making doesn't require any of these things. Especially a theater release. At the end of the day, film making is an investment. That means actually thinking about budget and what it gets you in returns. Ironically, he is thinking too small on profit margin while he thinks too big on everything else. Tenet cost $200-$225 million to make and made $300 million on HBO Max. Granted, $75-$100 million is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not a great return-on-investment, especially during a plague year. And now Warner Bros. is apparently planning on more of the same.  

Perhaps it's time for Mr. Nolan to rethink the game plan and treat film like an investment again.

Faith-based film offers that kind of opportunity, as poorly executed as it may be. For example, Facing the Giants(2006) cost a little more than $100k to make. But it made more than $38.5 million. Fireproof (2008) cost about $450k but made more than $57 million. A Charlie Brown Christmas cost $150k but made more than $5.3 million in 1965 (yes, it would be considered faith-based today). Etcetera, etcetera and so on.  

The issue is not screen size, film versus digital, or IMAX cameras. It's marketing and distribution. The future is home distribution, not theatrical releases — as much as we love theatrical releases at LOOR. The proverbial writing is on the wall for anyone who cares to admit they see it.  

If you see the handwriting, now is the time to act. If you are accredited and interested in investing $50k or more, reply to this email and we'll set up a time to fill you in on the opportunity LOOR is unlocking. Unlike Mr. Nolan, there are no prima donnas working on this project.