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In a summer chock-o-block with event films running north of two hours, Christopher Nolan’s World War II action-drama Dunkirk stands apart in running approximately one hour and 47 minutes — the shortest movie of his career after his first film, 1998’s Following, insiders confirm.
That’s 62 minutes less than Interstellar, the acclaimed director’s previous movie. Interstellar, released in November 2014, was his longest film with a running time of two hours and 49 minutes. Dunkirk is also substantially shorter than fellow 2017 summer movie, Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, which opens Wednesday and runs a hefty two hours and 29 minutes.
Warner Bros., Nolan’s longtime home studio, will unfurl Dunkirk in theaters July 21. The movie, about the famous battle, is one of the most anticipated titles of what’s been an up-and-down summer thus far at the multiplex. A film’s running time includes credits, which can sometimes take up to 10 minutes.
Among other summer tentpoles, Wonder Woman runs two hours and 21 minutes, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 clocks in at two hours and 15 minutes. And the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming is said to be two hours and 10 minutes long.
All of Nolan’s studio event films have been on the long side (not that it has hurt him any at the box office). The Dark Knight Rises (2012), the final chapter in his blockbuster Batman trilogy, ran two hours and 44 minutes; The Dark Knight (2008) was two hours and 32 minutes long; and Batman Begins (2005) ran two hours and 20 minutes. Combined, the three movies grossed more than $2.4 billion in global ticket sales.
Nolan’s mind-bender Inception ran two hours and 28 minutes. Hitting theaters in mid-July 2010, the movie earned $825 million worldwide.
The Prestige (2006) was two hours and 10 minutes long, while both Insomnia (2002) and Memento (2000) were under two hours, clocking in at one hour and 58 minutes and one hour and 53 minutes, respectively.
Following, the first film Nolan directed, was just one hour and nine minutes long. The neo-noir crime drama was shot entirely on 16mm stock and was a favorite on the festival circuit, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival.
Earlier this week, the filmmaker received a rapturous welcome onstage during Warner Bros.’ presentation at CineEurope, the annual gathering of international theater owners. Dunkirk, recounting one of the most famous battles of the war, was shot entirely on Imax film.