It has been announced this week that the BFI IMAX London cinema has reported the biggest opening weekend box office result of any screen in the UK for Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated epic, Oppenheimer.
Officially the number one IMAX screen in the country for this Christopher Nolan release the cinema on its own pulled in a stellar weekend gross of £207.677 for the movie.
This result means that James Cameron’s global smash hit AVATAR (2009) gets pushed into third place in the all-time BFI IMAX rankings and comes just behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).
BFI IMAX was also the second-highest grossing IMAX screen globally on the film’s opening weekend, only behind the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, which has almost double the BFI IMAX’s capacity.
BFI IMAX screenings of Oppenheimer have now almost sold out for July and are selling fast for the rest of August. The BFI will be adding further screenings in order to meet the unprecedented demand, with tickets available from the BFI IMAX website: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/imax
In anticipation of Oppenheimer’s UK release BFI IMAX programmed the Countdown to Oppenheimer: Christopher Nolan on Film season over the last few months.
This proved incredibly popular with Nolan fans, embracing the director’s commitment to the IMAX format, with screenings of all of Nolan’s films shot on IMAX and projected on 70mm IMAX.
So popular was the film release was that it screened 24 hours around-the-clock at the weekend with audiences travelling from all over the UK (and even the world in some cases) to see the film at the BFI IMAX venue on the UK’s biggest screen.
The film was shot on purpose-built IMAX cameras and the BFI IMAX is one of only three venues in the UK (and just thirty worldwide) screening Nolan’s latest opus on IMAX 70mm – as the director intended.
Barbie also rolled in a total of £17.287 but despite Barbie wiping the floor with Oppenheimer at the box office it’s no surprise that a movie made specifically for IMAX would outperform any other movie on the UK’s biggest screen and pole position IMAX cinema.
Oppenheimer reviews have been a mixed bag with many praising Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of the man yet many think the pacing of the movie is just too slow of a burn (pun intended of course).
The third act feels as though it’s only the start and its lethargic pacing becomes the films downfall. It’s a film that is too long with a delivery so muddled that it darts off into various directions to the point where as an audience member I’m trying to simplify the experience to enjoy it more.
This Nolan narrative of bouncing between chronologies works in films like Inception and Tenet but it just becomes frustrating during Oppenheimer. I’d like to learn something and all I’m learning is how to badly construct a timeline that’s confusing to an audience member.
A Cillian Murphy Oscar winning performance is just about enough to hold our attention and for once in my lifetime I’d love to witness a linear structure Christopher Nolan film. At times it feels as though all of his movies are for only him and him alone to understand and despite their success no one has ever (in his own words) made perfect sense of what he has created.
A genius filmmaker but a genius of his own downfall if no audience member can relate to his material. These are historical characters that have crafted and paved routes through history and changed how we live today yet from start to finish I can’t say I gave a damn about any one of them and that’s where Oppenheimer struggles the most.
We never understand the stakes and instead we are given fancy sounds and explosions to watch casting a mere shadow on what the film should be all about.