Tenet should be the film that commenced the film industry’s arrival to theaters, yet Warner Bros. has postponed the film uncertainly.
“We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement to Variety.
Tenet was initially expected to be released on July 17th. It was pushed back to July 31st due to ongoing concerns surrounding the pandemic. Warner Bros. postponed the film for a second time to August 12th, as it attempted to make sense of when Tenet could feasibly hit theaters.
What’s generally interesting about this round of Tenet postponements is that Warner Bros. is changing its tune on how it’s treating the film’s global release. Emmerich disclosed to Variety the studio is “not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.” That implies that as theaters reopen around the world, remembering for noticeable markets like Asia, Warner Bros. could release Tenet abroad while keeping the film off its domestic slate.
It’s additionally become progressively evident that Warner Bros. isn’t keen on moving Tenet to a digital release only title. Warner Bros., Universal, and Disney have all moved a portion of their titles from theatrical releases to digital-first exclusives, propelling either through premium video-on-demand platforms for a particular fee, or debuting solely on streaming services. Hamilton debuted on Disney Plus, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek said it brought an “a lot of new people” to the streamer.
So is there any good reason why warner wouldn’t Bros. move Tenet to a 100% digital release?? Like everything throughout everyday life: cash. Christopher Nolan movies perform really well in the box office, and Tenet is the type of film that could have crossed $1 billion easily in non-pandemic times. Warner Bros. still plainly imagines that Tenet can produce a high source of income for the studio, and executives keep Nolan — a staunch believer to the theatrical experience — happy.
“Our goals throughout this process have been to ensure the highest odds of success for our films while also being ready to support our theater partners with new content as soon as they could safely reopen,” Emmerich said in his statement. “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from exhibitors and remain steadfast in our commitment to the theatrical experience around the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to proliferate, causing us to reevaluate our release dates.”
The big question currently is the thing that do different studios do, particularly Disney. Tenet and Mulan have played a game of theatrical release date chicken. Since Tenet is deferred inconclusively, will Disney move Mulan further into the year? Shouldn’t something be said about New Mutants? The new X-Men film has a major panel scheduled for Comic-Con@Home, leading a few people to speculate that it could get an unexpected digital release.
What’s clear is that as states around the nation attempt to battle developing COVID-19 cases, cinemas are either confined from opening or are confronting significant worries about reopening. Finding better approaches to release blockbuster films this year is something that all studios, not simply Warner Bros., will need to become accustomed to for the foreseeable future.
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