Warner Bros has temporally removed Chris Nolan's Tenet from the release schedule with the promise that a new date will be announced " imminently". Nolan's latest film continues to shift in response to the pandemic which has seen thousands of cinemas closed and unable to reopen. Initially set for a mid-July launch, Tenet has been moved twice, but each time the dealy was only by two weeks. A move that was seen as somewhat ambitious by most, and has proved to be precisely that, there's no fixed new date yet, but the plan is (currently) to get Tenet in cinemas this year.
Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich made a statement (via Deadline) where he also revealed The Conjuring 3 is no longer arriving in time for Halloween.
“Our goals throughout this process have been to ensure the highest odds of success for our films while also being ready to support our theater partners with new content as soon as they could safely reopen. We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from exhibitors and remain steadfast in our commitment to the theatrical experience around the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to proliferate, causing us to reevaluate our release dates. Amidst all this continued uncertainty, we have decided to vacate the current dates for our next two releases. We will share a new 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. Additionally, we will be moving the next installment from our most-successful horror franchise, The Conjuring 3, to June 4, 2021.”
Global day-and-date releases have become the norm for big studio tentpole titles, but a return to the slow, steady rollout that movies used to undergo could be an exciting premise. Back in the days before global release on the same day, films were released in a very different way, and the theatrical window was drastically longer. Naturally, we live in an age of streaming and on-demand, but the prestige of seeing a movie on the big screen is something I sincerely hope we never lose. Tenet will likely be released in the states and countries where it is safe to do so on a gradual level. It could well be a case that Tenet is seen first internationally before it arrives in the US.
Tenet moving to an as yet undermined date will have a knock-on effect with the other films currently earmarked for August and beyond. We will have to wait and see if Disney's live-action Mulan and Bill & Ted Face The Music still land in cinemas in August, at this stage it does seem unlikely.