Tenet Release Date Pushed Back to August, After New Coronavirus Peak in the US

Christopher Nolan forced to give up on his beloved July.

Tenet Release Date Pushed Back to August, After New Coronavirus Peak in the US

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

John David Washington in Tenet

  • Tenet release date is August 12 now
  • Will release in India at the same time
  • Cinemas yet to receive a green light

Tenet has been delayed, again. Christopher Nolan's time-bending espionage epic movie has been pushed back an additional two weeks from July 31 to August 12, as coronavirus cases hit a new peak in the United States. The major problem for producer and distributor Warner Bros. is the fact that cinemas are yet to receive the green light in the American states of New York and Los Angeles. A source told Gadgets 360 that Tenet will release in India in line with the US / the UK, no matter how many cinemas are open here. That's because the studio is worried more about piracy than the the film's box office potential.

Warner Bros. is committed to bringing Tenet to audiences in theaters, on the big screen, when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it's time,” Warner Bros. said in a prepared statement on Thursday night in the US. “In this moment, what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release. We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.”

A similar release strategy is expected in India, given the pandemic is at different levels of severity across states. But it's worth noting that the Indian government has noted that theatres will be part of the last phase of reopening in India — dubbed “Phase 3” — alongside international flights and public transport. The government is expected to discuss “Phase 2” activities after June 30; there isn't even a date set for “Phase 3” discussion, let alone implementation. With new coronavirus cases spiking every day for the past week — from around 13,500 to 18,000 just this week — it's unlikely that cinemas will be open in time in India.

Even if all goes well, it's impossible to say how comfortable audiences will feel to return to cinema halls. A survey in the UK which reported its findings in early June said that only 19 percent of respondents are willing to go to cinemas after they reopen in July. At the same time, 75 percent would eventually return to theatres, but only after social distancing and rigorous cleaning was apparent.

Tenet is now slated to open August 12 in cinemas worldwide.

Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.


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Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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