Nolan's 'Tenet' Will Open First Internationally, Then Select Cities in US
by Alex Billington
July 27, 2020
It's official! And hopefully it won't get delayed again! Warner Bros has announced that Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated summer action spy thriller Tenet has been rescheduled for release at the end of August / beginning of September. It was initially scheduled to open on July 17th in the summer, and Hollywood was hoping it might be the big movie when cinemas re-open. But with America failing to contain and control the coronavirus, they had to push it back. It was then rescheduled for August 15th, but it won't make that date either. Instead, WB has decided to do something unprecedented with a $200+ million blockbuster - release it internationally in 70+ countries first (where the virus is under control and cinemas have safely re-opened) and then release it, carefully, in "select cities" in the US one week later. Hopefully no more delays this time.
WB has confirmed that Nolan's Tenet will open in 70+ countries (full list here) starting on August 26th - a Wednesday at the end of next month. It will then open in "select cities" (meaning cities where cinemas have safely re-opened) in the US beginning on September 3rd - Labor Day weekend. No list of cities has been announced yet, because it will depend on conditions closer to that release date. That's all that the Hollywood studio has officially announced, meaning we have no idea if there will be press screenings in America before, or anywhere. We have no idea if they're ready to delay it again, or if there is a VOD contingency plan in the works. We have no idea if it will still play in IMAX in cities that have one. It all depends on local conditions, but at least Warner Bros is trying to make sure Tenet plays in theaters worldwide as soon as safely possible.
Watch the first two official trailers for Tenet here and here. While I am definitely still excited for Tenet, it seems the excitement has shifted from what the movie is about to whether or not it will be the first movie we all get to watch on a big screen again. I really, really miss going to the cinema… There has been an intense debate for months about whether Nolan/WB has been pushing too hard with this movie, which in turn puts too many people at risk in the middle of a pandemic (I recorded a podcast with Anton Volkov about this). Nonetheless, Nolan has a finished movie ready to release and it's the kind of event movie that usually needs to be seen on the big screen. In the end, I expect many will watch it at home. And if that happens, I hope the conversation gets back to the story and movie itself, and how awesome (hopefully!) it is. In Nolan We Trust.