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Tenet (July 17, 2020)

Tino

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Exactly. Trading lives for dollars. How disgusting.
 

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 Mr Nolan could accomplish his goal, that you noted, of having Tenet being screened "on film: 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm film", since nearly all of the film projectors that had previously been used in the United States for projecting movies that were in film form, were projectors that have been replaced by digital projectors.
So with actual film projectors in America, literally now having become almost about as rare as unicorns, JUST HOW does Chris Nolan expect to have American audiences see actual FILM presentations of his new movie?
 

Jake Lipson

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The description on YouTube at the bottom of the trailer still says July 17, even though the trailer itself doesn't indicate a date. This feels to me like WB Is trying to have their cake and eat it too, relative to the question of when it will open.
 

TravisR

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The description on YouTube at the bottom of the trailer still says July 17, even though the trailer itself doesn't indicate a date. This feels to me like WB Is trying to have their cake and eat it too, relative to the question of when it will open.
I think Warners is waiting until the last minute to see how people are responding to businesses beginning to reopen. Ultimately, I think it's pointless to wait or delay the movie because unless there are MASSIVE outbreaks, people are just too entitled to care that they may be hurting other people and they will go wherever they please. By July, nearly everything is going to be reopened in some fashion and most people will be back to some sense of relative normalcy (work, seeing other people, kinda sorta being safe if they think about it) so I don't see any reason to think that movies with social distanced seating won't do the same and also be fairly successful.

Once again, I'm not saying that's good. Just how it's going to be.
 
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Malcolm R

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Somebody has to be the canary in the coal mine to test if audiences will show up, and they can't do that with lower tier releases. Once a majority of theaters decide to reopen, some studio has to bite the bullet and decide to release a big title.

No one is putting guns to the heads of customers. If they don't want to take the risk of going to theaters, they won't show up.
 
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TravisR

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Somebody has to be the canary in the coal mine to test if audiences will show up, and they can't do that with lower tier releases. Once a majority of theaters decide to reopen, some studio has to bite the bullet and decide to release a big title.

No one is putting guns to the heads of customers. If they don't want to take the risk of going to theaters, they won't show up.
Yeah, it's a $200 million gamble but the first movie out has basically all of the screens in the world so it could pay off in a big way. If I was Warners, I'd move Tenet to the fall and go with Wonder Woman in August. It's a comic book movie and people generally liked the first one so it seems like a safer financial bet than an unknown property like Tenet and an August release gives some more time for the pandemic to lessen.
 

Jake Lipson

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it seems like a safer financial bet than an unknown property like Tenet
I think their plan for leaving Tenet there relies on people going to it because it is Christopher Nolan's new movie. But July 19 was originally supposed to be in the middle of the summer season, not the kickoff movie after a long dormancy. People like us watch trailers online and we know who he is, but a lot of the general public will pay attention to trailers when they are in theaters waiting for other movies to start

In a normal season, Tenet would have trailered in front of at least Wonder Woman and In the Heights (WB's two tentpoles that were to proceed it this summer) and probably also some big films from other studios like Black Widow and Fast 9. That would get the movie on the minds of (semi)-captive audiences in the way that just playing the trailer on YouTube would not. I absolutely think Tenet can be successful, but its marketing campaign will need to do more than an original property. Wonder Woman just has to say, "She's back!" and it will benefit from the built-in knowledge of the first film. Tenet has to introduce itself to audiences in a more substantial way.

This is the long way around saying that I agree with you, and having it be not the first one gives them more promotional opportunities in front of known-quantity films like Wonder Woman.

But we'll see what they do.
 
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Reggie W

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So, a couple things I will add, first there are a lot of events scheduled for July, including live music, that have not yet been cancelled. So, I think there is a holding pattern on cancelling events in July. Probably many or most will end up cancelled. Second, and this is not directly from Warner Brothers, but I have heard the movie industry is discussing what they will do and if new films will be released this summer...the verdict seems to be that they will release new pictures for whatever theaters are open but WILL NOT release any major valuable productions, those will all be moved. In the scenario I have heard those pictures will all be pushed to 2021.

If Warner Brothers sticks to that, and it sounds like they would, this will get moved back. In fact the way Warner has discussed it, it sounds like they do want to move it to 2021. Nolan seems to be the guy that has to be convinced to move it and he seems to be dragging his feet but probably will come around.
 

TravisR

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Second, and this is not directly from Warner Brothers, but I have heard the movie industry is discussing what they will do and if new films will be released this summer...the verdict seems to be that they will release new pictures for whatever theaters are open but WILL NOT release any major valuable productions, those will all be moved. In the scenario I have heard those pictures will all be pushed to 2021.
I was thinking about "no big movies until next year" as a possibility but how do theaters operate with no tentpole pictures? I want to see the new Halloween as much as anyone but I can't see relatively small movies like that keeping the lights on at a movie theater until next year. After the massive financial hit that theaters have taken, they need big movies more than ever so I can't see them pushing all the big budget stuff to 2021.
 
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Jeff Adkins

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Universal just announced that they are opening their theme park in Orlando on June 5th. It seems crazy to think that theme parks will be open, but theaters won't be ready a month later?
 

Jeff Adkins

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If anyone is curious how theaters may adjust when they finally open, here's the info page for Spring Cinemas. It's a multiplex in Atlanta that just opened on Friday. For those that said the concession counters would be closed, they are indeed up and running (as is the bar with 6 foot distancing). There are two buffer seats in between each party. Staff is masked. All tickets much be purchased through the app.

 
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Colin Jacobson

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Universal just announced that they are opening their theme park in Orlando on June 5th. It seems crazy to think that theme parks will be open, but theaters won't be ready a month later?
I guess the difference is that a theme park leaves you outdoors much of the time, so you're not trapped with recirculating germs?
 

Jake Lipson

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The Tenet Facebook page has an updated profile picture and timeline cover again. After they briefly just said "Coming to Theaters" yesterday with no date attached to them, they now say "Coming to Theaters 7.17.20" again. So it appears WB intends for that date to stick.
 
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Reggie W

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I was thinking about "no big movies until next year" as a possibility but how do theaters operate with no tentpole pictures? I want to see the new Halloween as much as anyone but I can't see relatively small movies like that keeping the lights on at a movie theater until next year. After the massive financial hit that theaters have taken, they need big movies more than ever so I can't see them pushing all the big budget stuff to 2021.
Well, I do think it is a financial decision. The way the movie industry works now is they rely on big tent pole pictures to open to huge numbers in the first couple of weeks. Opening to theaters that will not fill to full capacity due to a pandemic and the possibility of major market theaters being closed adds a massive potential risk factor that big tent pole films could open to paltry numbers. I don't think people involved with these productions want to see that happen. So why not push these pictures back to a safer date. They could move Tenet to May or July 2021. A longer wait may really get people worked up to see it and bring in a much larger opening tally.

Everybody I have asked if they would purchase a movie ticket in July has said "No way." so my personal feeling is they are not going to go...unless it is to a drive-in.
 
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TravisR

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Well, I do think it is a financial decision. The way the movie industry works now is they rely on big tent pole pictures to open to huge numbers in the first couple of weeks. Opening to theaters that will not fill to full capacity due to a pandemic and the possibility of major market theaters being closed adds a massive potential risk factor that big tent pole films could open to paltry numbers.
But by waiting a year to open big movies, they won't have theaters to play movies in any more. The theaters need big movies and the studios need theaters to make as much money as they're used to.

And maybe it's my natural pessimism but I think most people will be relatively back to living their normal lives by July. Some people may be concerned with going to a movie but anecdotally, I was in Target this week and saw a few morons walking around without the still mandated masks and taking them off to speak to the cashier (I guess they think she couldn't hear through the mask?!). If people are doing that now and others are marching with assault rifles so they can defend their god given right to get a haircut, I feel safe in thinking that by July, all bets will be off.
 
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