Things didn’t look so good for Tenet. When Christopher Nolan’s upcoming thriller received a new trailer a few weeks ago, fans were quick to notice that there was no confirmed release date at the end of the trailer. For months, Warner Bros. was steadfast that Tenet would keep its July 17th release date and serve as the beacon for theater chains as a major blockbuster that was still on track for its original release date. Now that the date is a little over a month away, and with the coronavirus seeing a second wave in certain parts of the United States after reopening too early, Warner Bros. have all but waved the white flag and announced Tenet’s delay.
In reality, the delay isn’t too bad. While it was set to release on July 17, it was only pushed back a mere two weeks, making it hardly the worst delay to happen in the age of Covid. However, delays aren’t just a single one and done deal. Because Tenet will now release later in the summer, Warner Bros has announced a more significant delay for its other major summer blockbuster, Wonder Woman 1984. That movie was previously slated for a August 14 release, pushed back two month from its original June 5 release date, and has now been delayed an additional two month to October 2. Godzilla vs. Kong was pushed from November 2020 to May of 2021. The Matrix 4 is now going to release April 2022 instead of May 2021. When one movie falls, everything else falls with it.
While there have been no other major delays from Warner Bros, it’s yet another indicator that movie theaters should be very concerned about their future. AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the world, may not survive after this is done. In an official statement, the National Association of Theater Owners, the exhibition industry’s official trade organization, said “over these last months we have been keeping Warner Bros. closely informed of our work towards reopening our theatres in accordance with governmental health and safety requirements, and we are looking forward to audiences enjoying Tenet in our theatres all around the world on July 31st.” Regardless of if theaters are up to the government’s and state’s health and safety requirements, will audiences want to rush back into theaters so soon?
Look, I love movies. I love talking about movies and there’s nothing more relaxing to me than going to see a movie on the big screen. But there comes a point where you have to considered if seeing the latest blockbuster could actually be dangerous to your health. Do I trust theaters to be rigid in taking care and cleaning their seats, limited seating capacity, and enforcing social distancing? Yes. Do I trust everyone in the theater to do the same and wear face masks and maintain social distancing? Not even close. I’m hopeful that these dates will stick and we won’t have to deal with any more delays, but I don’t know how eager people are going to be to flock back to theaters in the midst of a pandemic.
Tenet will release on July 31, 2020.
Christoper Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Release Delay – [Variety]