When Warner Bros recently delayed Christopher Nolan’s Tenet by just two weeks, it was rather surprising given that by the time we get to its new 31 July release date, cinemas in a number of key global markets will probably not be opened yet. Of course, surprises are par for the course when it comes to Nolan’s films, whether that be due to the super-secrecy they’re often wrapped up in or something completely unexpected like having the film’s latest trailer debut inside of Fortnite! As weird as it sounds, that last bit was apparently Nolan’s own idea. And now we’re learning that the only reason that Tenet is actually still releasing in July as opposed to later in the year is because of Nolan as well.
According to a report from The New York Times, WB would have liked to delay Tenet even further. Given that America’s COVID-19 numbers keep climbing to absurd levels, and China – the second-largest movie market in the world – is now halting some reopening plans as a second wave of COVID-19 appears to be hitting – it makes complete sense to hold the film back as long as possible. With a reported production price tag as high as $225 million, the studio would want every possible venue open and filled with as many cinemagoers as possible to recoup that cost.
However, the report reveals that WB has pushed ahead with a July release because Nolan is insisting on doing so. The acclaimed filmmaker has long been a very vocal proponent of films being experienced in cinemas, and he reportedly wants Tenet to be the film that saves the current disastrous 2020 theatrical box office. It’s claimed that WB is still a bit iffy on this approach, but Nolan has an incredible track record both with critics and at the box office, and the studio wants to keep him happy.
I have to admit, as much as we want to watch Tenet on the biggest screen as soon as possible, July is just a bit too close for comfort. And that’s down here in South Africa. With the USA’s situation not looking to improve dramatically anytime soon unless something miraculous happens, the gamble of there being enough cinemas open to enough patrons to make this profitable is a major one. Any film will be taking a financial hit over the next few months, but WB is apparently hoping that Tenet will be the one that can overcome that hump best thanks to Nolan’s reputation. We’ll find out just how much clout the filmmaker actually has in six weeks.
Last Updated: June 17, 2020