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Tenet (July 17, 2020)

Jake Lipson

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I agree with that -- but I do really want to see it in the theater, so I would prefer that it be pushed.
 

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I thought this article was interesting:

I love Warner Bros. I think they are one of the great studios of movie history. But these last 10 years or so, they are sorely lacking in leadership. Expecting 80% of theaters to be open by mid-July is just a fantasy.

As the article points out, Tenet could move to Aug 14, and shift Wonder Woman to December. But I think mid-August is optimistic for 80% of theaters to be open.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Expecting 80% of theaters to be open by mid-July is just a fantasy.
I agree. But as soon as Warner Bros. admits that Tenet won't be coming out as originally scheduled, their stock price -- and, probably, the stock prices of the theater chains -- will probably take a dive. So they are probably just delaying the announcement as long as possible .

If they actually intend to keep the date, they're going to need to market it with TV spots and such. I haven't seen any of those yet. Until they start spending that kind of money, they can probably wait as long as they want to push it.
 

Jake Lipson

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I assume that the chain theaters easily represent 80% of theaters.
Domestically, probably yes. But the article says worldwide, and that I'm not sure about because conditions around the world vary so much right now.

I'm pretty sure that Tenet was originally planned to go worldwide, to close to worldwide, at the same time. It appears WB still wants to do that. As I noted before in the box office thread, Inception and Interstellar both did well in North America but made the vast majority of their money internationally. So whether it is worth WB releasing the film at all if they can't go worldwide at the same time is an open question. Obviously, another issue is that if it were to be released exclusively anywhere in the world, piracy would get it out to the other parts of the world before the official release, so they might just want to hold it. (I want to be clear here that I'm not advocating piracy in any way, and I personally would not seek a printed copy, but of course it does exist and there are people who would.)
 

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And LA isn’t opening before August, so I think that’s that.
When thousands of people in Los Angeles ignore it and do what they want, how will they enforce the stay at home orders? They can't lock that many people up and at that point, there's not much they can threaten people with. When the rest of the country will be reopened in some form relatively soon and people are doing what they want, how does LA tell businesses that they can't open too?

I'm not saying that any of that is good but I think it's what's very likely to happen.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I honestly don’t know and those are good (if frightening) questions. I honestly think that the current reopenings are going to spawn a resurgence that will make the initial wave in NYC look like child’s play, and I think we’ll then see more fear and caution.

I think a lot of people in a lot of places have convinced themselves that what happened in NYC (or Italy, or any other number of places) couldn’t happen where they are, and don’t fully comprehend what we’re dealing with. They think that New Yorkers live on top of each other and it’s the fault of apartments and mass transit, which may not exist where they are. They see the numbers going down across the country, and see that it wasn’t that bad where they are, as a sign that they shutdown was a nationwide overreaction to a local crisis, when in fact, the only reason every place isn’t NYC is because of that shutdown. That shutdown was supposed to buy us time to have universal testing and contact tracing up and running by the time it ended, and that hasn’t happened.

I would truly love to be wrong but we’re probably not even at the end of the beginning of this thing, much less the beginning of the end.
 

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I think Nolan just wants to get his film out there and the reason they have not moved it yet is because there are a lot of reopening plans being drafted right now and I think a lot of people were hopeful that summer would bring things back to some sort of normal.

Obviously if they have some sort of guideline in place that he wants the film to open in New York and Los Angeles then they may as well start making plans to move it now. If he just wants to get it out there to whatever theaters are open then he obviously can. I think the thing is though he wanted to open it wide so everybody has a chance to see it at once. So, opening it piecemeal may not be what he wants because then reviews and info about the picture will be all over the place and that would likely not be beneficial to a film that has been so carefully kept under wraps.
 

Jake Lipson

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This ad posted on Wednesday says there will be a new trailer coming tomorrow:


Since it's after midnight in several time zones, that means a new trailer is coming today (Thursday) in those areas that are already into May 21.

It seems to me that the trailer is going to do one of two things:

(1) Announce a date change on the end;
or
(2) Confirm that WB is actually seriously going to try to release this on July 19 and begin the final marketing push.

We'll see what happens.
 
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(1) Announce a date change on the end;
or
(2) Confirm that WB is actually seriously going to try to release this on July 19 and begin the final marketing push.

We'll see what happens.
My guess is that if they were announcing the bad news of a date change, they'd do it late in the day on Friday so I think they're going for July.
 

TravisR

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My guess is that if they were announcing the bad news of a date change, they'd do it late in the day on Friday so I think they're going for July.
Vacation days have no meaning for me anymore so I just realized that today is probably the last day before the Memorial Day weekend starts. Now I'm thinking that today could be the day that Warners does the announce-bad-news-and-run move that usually takes place on a Friday.
 

Jake Lipson

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The Tenet Facebook page has been updated with a new profile picture and cover photo.

They just say:

TENET
COMING TO THEATERS

There is no date listed.

The trades are not reporting one yet, but that sure sounds like a delay is coming to me. If they were sure they were sticking with July 19, it would have no reason not to say so.
 
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Mike Boone

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It won’t be streaming only but it won’t be July, no matter Nolan’s stated preference.

He wants it to screen on film: 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm film. Those formats cost the most to exhibit a film in and require an infrastructure that is now dormant. It adds a tremendous cost to the release, which in normal times wouldn’t be an issue. But if theaters open this summer, we’re gonna be seeing limitations like 25% of seating capacity only. And there’s simply no viable way to screen actual film prints with that as a ceiling on earnings. The cost of making the print, shipping it to the theater, taking the projectors out of mothballs and the re-installation and maintenance efforts, plus the cost of hiring projectionists, simply isn’t recoverable at 25% capacity.

Josh, I don't understand how in the U.S. that Mr Nolan could accomplish his goal, that you noted, of having Tenet being screened "on film: 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm film", since almost every film projector that was previously being
 

Josh Steinberg

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Josh, I don't understand how in the U.S. that Mr Nolan could accomplish his goal, that you noted, of having Tenet being screened "on film: 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm film", since almost every film projector that was previously being
Nolan likes those as options but he doesn’t prevent digital releases; it’s just that it plays in multiple formats. Theaters that show it on film either rent the equipment or have it taken out of storage and refurbished for the engagement and then charge higher prices than the digital screening to justify it. That’s what been done for Dunkirk and Interstellar most recently.

But it’s a difficult endeavor in the best of times. I don’t know that it’s feasible in pandemic circumstances.
 
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Jake Lipson

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My local arthouse can screen in both 35mm and 70mm and don't have to rent equipment for it. They just have it, and usually use it on a handful of occasions every year. After refurbishing their main auditorium a few years ago, they timed their grand reopening to the 70mm release of Dunkirk and screened it for a month. I know that, prior to the pandemic, they were planning on booking Tenet in 70mm.

But right now they are closed. Even though the governor has authorized theaters here to be open now if they so choose, my arthouse is electing to remain closed, which I respect.

If Tenet comes out in July and they are still closed, my only option would be a digital screening.

Therefore, Nolan will be able to get more people to see it the way he desires if WB delays the release. I'm not sure why he appears not to understand this, because he seems like a very intelligent guy.
 

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...Warner Bros needs at least 80% of the world's theaters to be open, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco (which rep 25% of a pic's opening weekend), in order to keep Tenet on its opening release date.
I mean, it's still a way off, but that seems pretty unlikely.

 

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