Has there been a film with a more anticipated release date than Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet?” Unlike the release dates for a big Marvel Studios film or the latest “Star Wars” movie, Warner Bros’ “Tenet” is not only poised to be one of the biggest films of the year, but it’s also being looked at as the film that will reignite the theatrical experience after the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down a number of months ago. So, film fans and, especially, theater exhibitors wait to hear if WB is going to release “Tenet” in July or if Nolan’s film will be the latest to get a delay. But according to Cinemark, the theater chain is “optimistic” that audiences will have the opportunity to see the film in July.
Speaking to investors (via Deadline), Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi spoke about the odds of “Tenet” opening in July and if the theater chain would be able to survive by sticking to government-mandated safety precautions.
“We’ve been in close contact with Warner Bros. and they remain optimistic and positive as well as Christopher Nolan about the July 17 opening,” said Zoradi. “Of course, it depends on the continued positive movement due to the decline of COVID-19 and government restrictions being reduced.”
Later, he would further clarify, “We can’t promise you nor Warner Bros that ‘Tenet’ can open on July 17.”
The Cinemark boss does confirm that there is “pent-up demand” to see Christopher Nolan’s latest project, especially after the reception the second trailer received when it recently premiered. Zoradi is also confident that even with reduced capacity screenings, Cinemark can be profitable as long as there’s a film like “Tenet” driving business. However, with New York and Los Angeles still unsure if theaters will be open in time for a July 17 release date, it’s clear that Warner Bros. is still taking a wait-and-see approach to the release of the film.
Of course, there is the problem of marketing. For weeks now, analysts have pointed to the beginning of June as the time when WB would have to begin a real marketing push for “Tenet.” But as of yet, there is still no confirmation that it’s definitely being released in July. Now, a month-and-a-half away, you would assume that the studio would need to really start its ad campaign for the film, especially given that the general public needs to be told that theaters will be open in time.
So, even though Cinemark is optimistic, you have to wonder if that optimism is the company putting on a happy face in times of uncertainty or if Zoradi and his colleagues are truly hopeful that everything will be open by mid-July.