Tenet: a word that will open the right doors, some of the wrong ones.
Well, in this case, it closed one.
Thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated science-fiction thriller Tenet has been delayed indefinitely. Originally slated for a July release this summer, Tenet was rescheduled for August before coronavirus cases escalated yet again. As positive cases continue to climb towards the four million mark in the United States, Warner Bros. has recently removed Tenet from its 2020 release calendar altogether, stating that it will announce a new release date “imminently.”
To quote Commissioner Gordon from The Dark Knight Rises, that basically means “We’re on our own.” Tenet is not the first movie to be delayed due to the coronavirus. James Bond’s No Time To Die, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, and A Quiet Place Part II all got pushed back from their original release dates earlier this year, effectively eliminating 2020’s summer movie season. But after Tenet was wiped from the 2020 calendar altogether, that means other movies could quite possibly follow suit, leaving many to wonder when the movie theaters will reopen this year if at all.
And movie theaters are already in a tough spot due to the coronavirus. AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the United States, posted a $2.4 billion loss in its first quarter this year, and the industry as a whole has lost over $10 billion as of May, according to Forbes. CNBC reported that the box office is at a 20-year low, facing its worst year since 1998. How much worse it can get and for how long is only a matter of time.
Will Tenet be released directly to at-home streaming? I seriously doubt it. Christopher Nolan’s movies have always been in high demand, from The Dark Knight trilogy to Inception to Dunkirk. Throwing it onto TV screens at home feels like a throwaway, and definitely something Nolan himself wouldn’t agree to.
Whether other franchises like James Bond or Wonder Woman ultimately go that route remains to be seen. But at the moment, it seems like we’re going to have to wait until 2021 to watch Christopher Nolan’s newest feature.
– David Dunn
SOURCES: Forbes, CNBC