The Lessons of ‘Oppenheimer’ in China Go Beyond Its Star Director | Analysis

Available to WrapPRO members

Christopher Nolan is a legitimate draw in the country, but that’s not the only reason for his latest cinematic success

Christopher Nolan in China promoting 'Oppenheimer'
Christopher Nolan promotes 'Oppenheimer' in China

A movie about the United States’ entry into the Atomic Age might not seem like a straightforward sell in an increasingly nationalistic China, but “Oppenheimer” got off to a strong start there, earning $39 million in 10 days.

That’s amid solid word of mouth (an 8.9 from Douban) and a local press tour by director Christopher Nolan. His in-person promotional visit marked the first such event for a Hollywood film since pre-COVID times.

The puzzle now is whether Nolan’s popularity in China is a one-of-a-kind factor or if there’s a broader lesson about what can make for a blockbuster in the country.