Martin Scorsese Defends Killers Of The Flower Moon Runtime



  • Director Martin Scorsese defends the lengthy runtime of Killers of the Flower Moon and emphasizes the importance of watching it on the big screen.
  • The filmmaker argues that long movies shouldn’t be an issue considering how people binge TV at home for hours at a time, also citing a general acceptance for long theater productions.
  • Killers of the Flower Moon‘s long runtime will probably have an impact on its box office, but early reviews suggest that the film is as long as it needs to be to tell its story effectively.



Killers of the Flower Moon director Martin Scorsese defends the movie’s lengthy runtime. Based on a book of the same name by author David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon is based on true events, chronicling the lives of key figures involved in the murders of members of the Osage Nation in the 1920s. The upcoming Apple TV Plus historical epic, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, is now confirmed to clock in at a whopping three hours and 26 minutes long.

Ahead of the Killers of the Flower Moon theatrical release date later this month, Scorsese addresses the film’s long runtime in an interview with Hindustan Times. Echoing a similar statement made by director James Cameron regarding Avatar: The Way of Water‘s lengthy runtime, the legendary filmmaker cites TV binge-watching as a major reason why a long movie runtime shouldn’t be an issue. Check out Scorsese’s full comment below:

“In the case of Killers of the Flower Moon, it should be seen on the big screen. Are we intending to make a blockbuster? No, we’re making a movie, which should watched on the big screen. Other pictures I made? Maybe not. Sometimes, it’s the strength of the picture too, if it plays well on a smaller screen, that’s interesting.

“Killers could play on a small screen, but in order to truly immerse yourself, you should take out the time. People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours. Also, there are many people who watch theatre 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.”

Related: Killers Of The Flower Moon Will Surely Break An Incredible Scorsese & DiCaprio Streak

Killers Of The Flower Moon’s Long Runtime Explained

Lily Gladstone embraces into Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon

Generally speaking, it’s in a film’s best interest financially to feature a runtime below two and a half hours. A shorter runtime means that a movie can have more showings per day at a theater, and there are some audiences who will flat out avoid going to the theater to watch a movie if it’s too long. That being said, there are certainly recent examples to suggest that films with longer runtimes can be very successful.

Avatar: The Way of Water clocks in at three hours and 12 minutes and currently stands as the third highest-grossing movie of all time. Oppenheimer, which is perhaps the closest comp to Killers of the Flower Moon as a historical drama, is three hours long and has made more than $900 million worldwide. Scorses’s new movie will never hit the highs of Oppenheimer for a variety of reasons, but it’s possible that the star power of DiCaprio and De Niro will see the film achieve modest success.

Ultimately, the best runtime for a film depends on the film itself and how much time is needed to tell its story. Killers of the Flower Moon reviews have praised the film as a masterpiece, suggesting that it more than earns its runtime. Trailers have already teased how the movie explores serious and historically significant subject matter, and Scorsese evidently hopes that a long runtime won’t discourage viewers from experiencing Killers of the Flower Moon in theaters.

Source: Hindustan Times