Only Major Film in Theaters During Pandemic to Leave

Home release of 'Tenet' is next month
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2020 6:25 PM CST
Only Major Film in Theaters During Pandemic to Leave
Elizabeth Debicki and John David Washington in a scene from "Tenet," which will have its home release on Dec. 15.   (Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

After several months in pandemic-altered theaters, Christopher Nolan's Tenet will head to home release on Dec. 15, Warner Bros. said Thursday. The film will be available digitally as well as on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K just before the holidays, potentially bringing an end to its turbulent but singular run in theaters. Tenet remains the only major Hollywood release to test cinemas during COVID-19, the AP reports. It managed to amass $350 million in box office worldwide but struggled to kickstart domestic moviegoing after opening stateside on Sept. 3. Contending with regulations limiting theater capacity and theaters that remained closed in some states, the Warner Bros. release has so far grossed $53.8 million at the US and Canadian box office. The studio didn't announce on-demand or streaming plans.

Tenet was never able to play in Los Angeles or New York, the country's two biggest markets, which both remain closed. In its ninth week of release in the US, the film grossed $885,000 in 1,601 locations last weekend. Nolan has argued that that result, given the circumstances, wasn't so bad. But following the release of Tenet, as coronavirus cases rose, other big-budget releases moved out of 2020. "I am worried that the studios are drawing the wrong conclusions from our release—that rather than looking at where the film has worked well and how that can provide them with much needed revenue, they're looking at where it hasn't lived up to pre-COVID expectations and will start using that as an excuse to make exhibition take all the losses from the pandemic instead of getting in the game and adapting—or rebuilding our business, in other words," Nolan told the Los Angeles Times. (The film's box office affected other releases.)

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