Warner to Open ‘Tenet’ Abroad on Aug. 26, in U.S. for Labor Day
(Bloomberg) -- Warner Bros. is aiming to open its big summer blockbuster “Tenet” internationally on Aug. 26 and a week later in the U.S. for the Labor Day holiday, following numerous delays for the $200 million film.
AT&T Inc.’s film division initially planned to release the sci-fi thriller widely on July 17, but has delayed the opening repeatedly as coronavirus cases surge and force U.S. movie theaters to stay shut. Under the new plan announced Monday, “Tenet” will debut in 70 countries, including the U.K., Canada, France and Japan. It’s expected to open in the U.S. over the Labor Day weekend, and remain in theaters longer than a normal, giving more people a chance to see it.
Warner Bros. and its competitors have had to put off their big movie premieres amid an unpredictable pandemic. While the studio can shift some movies to its streaming service, HBO Max, so-called tentpole films still need a theatrical run to recoup their production and marketing costs. Additionally, “Tenet” director Christopher Nolan is deeply devoted to the cinematic experience, calling theaters a “a vital part of social life” in an editorial in the Washington Post in March.
Walt Disney Co. canceled the planned August theatrical release of “Mulan,” after repeatedly delaying the premiere. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer pushed back the debut of the new James Bond film “No Time to Die” until November, and Paramount Pictures delayed “A Quiet Place Part II.” All those movies were initially scheduled to come out earlier this year.
The constant reshuffling of the release dates has complicated the efforts by theaters to reopen. John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, warned last week that constant delays are hurting cinemas and could lead to bankruptcies. The largest chains, including AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., have had to raise more capital to survive months without revenue.
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