The seemingly inevitable happened last week as Warner Bros. finally announced a delay for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming action film, “Tenet.” However, the delay wasn’t for a full year or even a couple of months. Instead, WB delayed the film’s release by only two weeks, hoping that the box office and theaters will be in a bit of a better position by July 31, as opposed to July 17. So, why only the minor date adjustment? Why not play it safe and just delay until Summer 2021?
According to a new report from The New York Times, it appears that WB and Christopher Nolan are on two different pages when it comes to the release of “Tenet.” The studio, on the one hand, reportedly is interested in making sure the $200 million movie is released at the best possible time in an effort to gain the biggest box office numbers possible. Nolan, however, wants to use “Tenet” as a film that helps usher in the post-COVID-19 box office.
Here’s what the report claims:
“In recent weeks, Warner, concerned about its “Tenet” investment, was leaning in favor of postponement, while Mr. Nolan, a fervent advocate for preserving the moviegoing experience, was more eager to press ahead. The discussions amounted to a fraught moment for Warner: Mr. Nolan is a proven moneymaker, and the studio wants to keep him happy.”
We’ve known for a while now that Nolan has been pushing to have the film released this summer, despite theaters being closed for the last three months. Adding to that is the fact that no one really knows how movie-goers are feeling towards coming back to cinemas right now. Some surveys say that people are desperate to get out of the house, while others say that people are willing to wait until the pandemic has finished. Needless to say, this is a huge unknown and when you’re trying to make $1 billion on a film, this is the type of question that will worry a studio.
But Nolan is Nolan, and WB wants to make sure the filmmaker is happy. He’s pretty much the only filmmaker that can open a blockbuster film that isn’t attached to an IP and make hundreds of millions of dollars, just on his name alone. So, at the end of the day, it makes sense why the studio wants to make him happy. Hopefully, for WB’s sake, that’s not a costly error.