State economies are opening back up and movie theaters across the countries are slowly opening their doors. This doesn't mean, however, that studios will stop pushing back movie release dates. Case in point: Christopher Nolan's Tenet has been moved back to July 31 from July 17, according to Variety. Taking over its spot is a re-release of Nolan's critically-acclaimed film Inception, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in July. Warner Brothers' re-release of Inception mimics China's plan to re-release Avengers: Endgame and Avatar in efforts to get moviegoers back into theater seats before releasing new films.
"We're especially thrilled, in this complex and rapidly changing environment, to be bringing Christopher Nolan's Tenet, a global tentpole of jaw-dropping size, scope and scale, to theaters around the world on July 31," chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Toby Emmerich, told Variety. "It's been longer than any of us could've imagined since we've seen a movie on the big screen, and to acknowledge Chris' fans as we count down to Tenet's opening day, we are also excited to offer his masterpiece Inception in theaters for its 10th anniversary on July 17."
Nolan has been hoping that Tenet would also help movie fans get back into theaters, as many are likely still wary to venture out while COVID-19 is still a threat.At the beginning of the pandemic, as theaters closed their doors and tens of thousands of movie theater employees were furloughed or left completely jobless, Nolan penned an op-ed in The Washington Post asking for government aid. The Dark Knight director fears theaters will struggle to stay afloat even when the pandemic is over and feels that the industry will need help.
Warner Bros. had initially pushed back Wonder Woman 1984 from June 5 to August 14, and pushed its release again to October 2. The Wonder Woman 1984 news came in the form of a not-so-public tweet and didn't get quite the same media coverage as the Tenet announcement. Variety reported that Tenet was the movie other studios were watching to see how audiences would react, essentially making it the guinea pig film of the pandemic. Based on its performance in the box office, other studios would decide how to proceed with their films moving forward.
The studio will not be taking the digital-release route with potential blockbusters like Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, and will likely continue to push back release dates should the pandemic cause a second economic shutdown.
Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine, Elizabeth Debicki, and Himesh Patel.