Killers of the Flower Moon is an upcoming film by Martin Scorsese that runs 3.5 hours long. That’s a long-running time for the historical epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and concerns the mysterious murders of the Osage Nation. But Scorsese feels that such a length is warranted and is willing to defend his lengthy film.
During an interview with The Hindustan Times, director Martin Scorsese addressed the running time of Killers of the Flower Moon: “People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours.” This notion may be based on how long Scorsese has made his previous films.
Martin Scorsese’s previous 2019 film, the mafia drama of The Irishman, ran for a whopping 209 minutes (roughly the same length as Killers of the Flower Moon). Despite the lengthy running time, the film still garnered plenty of praise and even managed to make $8 million at the box office. That’s pretty good for a film that only ran briefly before Netflix relegated the film to their streaming service.
An Age of Long Movies
Scorsese continued to explain how audiences should be used to long movies like his: “Also, there are many people who watch theater for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage, you can’t get up and walk around. You give it that respect. Give cinema some respect.” There’s some truth to this.
Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s biopic on the creator of the atomic bomb, ran for three hours in theaters. Despite such a length, the film still made over $900 million, making it one of the more profitable films 2023. Look back to 2022 and Disney’s Avatar: The Way of Water made over $2 billion at the box office despite running 192 minutes or 3.2 hours. Running time doesn’t seem to be hindering popularity.
Martin Scorsese has been highly vocal about his concerns for movies becoming more notable as franchise blockbusters than anything else. He spoke about how franchise culture could ruin the future of movies: “There are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are.”
This is worth noting, as Killers of the Flower Moon may put some people off for running well over three hours. But if audiences were willing to see Oppenheimer and Avatar: The Way of Water, which were only a few minutes longer, it shouldn’t be a concern for Scorsese’s upcoming historical epic.
Martin Scorsese’s History of Long Movies
Scorsese has been used to make films that run long. The Wolf of Wall Street ran for 180 minutes (3 hours), Silence was 161 minutes long (2.5 hours), and his most revered film, Goodfellas, was 146 minutes. So those familiar with Martin Scorsese’s movies should be used to the longer running times by now.
Killers of the Flower Moon will mark one of his longer films. For running about the same length as The Irishman, moviegoers should be able to plan accordingly if they’ve seen that previous film. Killers of the Flower Moon will hit theaters on October 20, 2023, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone.
- Martin Scorsese defends Killers of the Flower Moon, running nearly four hours.
- Scorsese explained that audiences should be used to long movies, like Oppenheimer.
- Scorsese’s previous films have had long running times.
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