Warner Bros. has announced its new release strategy for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.” Per an official statement from the studio: “Today, Warner Bros. announced that ‘Tenet’ will open in over 70 countries worldwide starting on August 26. Major territories will include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The film will open in the United States over Labor Day weekend in select cities.”
The new “Tenet’ release plan expands on a statement Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich issued July 20 saying the studio would not be giving the Nolan tentpole a “traditional global day-and-date release.” The studio originally had “Tenet” dated for global release on July 17. Two release delays were announced amid the coronavirus pandemic: The first pushed “Tenet” to July 31, and the second moved it to August 12. Warner Bros. removed “Tenet” from the calendar on July 20 and has now officially put it back on course for its release.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to proliferate, causing us to reevaluate our release dates,” Emmerich said in his July 20 statement. “We are not treating ‘Tenet’ like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.”
Emmerich’s statement followed a June statement from Warner Bros. saying the studio was “committed to bringing ‘Tenet’ to audiences in theaters, on the big screen, when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it’s time.” Both of these studio statements led moviegoers to believe Warner Bros. would begin opening “Tenet” in theaters internationally as global markets such as South Korea have re-opened theaters.
The U.S. release date for “Tenet’ has remained in flux as coronavirus cases spike across the country. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced July 13 he is requiring all movie theaters to remain closed, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has pushed the opening of movie theaters past phase four of the state’s re-opening plans. New York City and Los Angeles are the top two moviegoing markets in the country.
“Tenet” stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson as spies who are tasked with preventing World War III through the use of time inversion. The cast also includes Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Caine. While there were online rumors that Warner Bros. could release “Tenet’ in the U.S. on its HBO Max streaming service, Nolan has said “Tenet” is “most designed for the audience experience, the big screen experience” out of all his directorial projects so far.