After delaying what was one of the most anticipated titles of the summer movie season twice, Warner Bros. has yanked Christopher Nolan‘s sci-thriller ‘Tenet” from its release schedule as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the country.
The continued uncertainty of when movie theaters can safely re-open in the U.S. has upended one of Hollywood’s most lucrative seasons when kids are out of school and families go en masse to air-conditioned multiplexes.”Tenet” was originally supposed to come out on July 17, but was eventually pushed back twice until August 12. Now its opening date is up in the air, but the studio says it will share a new release date soon.
In a statement made by Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich, he said, “We will share a 2020 release date imminently for ‘Tenet,’ Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature. We are not treating ‘Tenet’ like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.”
The studio has also moved its horror film sequel, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” to June 4, 2021.
As for ‘Tenet,’ which is about a time-traveling secret agent who must prevent World War III and stars Robert Pattinson and John David Washington, it will likely not receive the usual global rollout in cinema houses. Some theaters overseas have already started to reopen, allowing it to be shown internationally before it is given a domestic release.
Such previous Nolan films including “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” “Inception,” “Interstellar” and “Dunkirk” have earned more than half of their box-office revenues from theaters abroad. Given that Warner Bros. paid $200 million to make “Tenet,” not counting marketing fees, means showing it via VOD or on a streaming service — as several other summer releases have done — is not in the cards for now.
Other hotly anticipated films including “Wonder Woman 1984” (October 2) and Denis Villeneuve‘s “Dune” remake (December 18) are are still scheduled for this year. Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s musical “In the Heights” has been pushed to June 18, 2021, and “The Batman” with Pattinson as the Caped Crusader has landed on June 25, 2021 for now.