Tenet Won't Be Out in August, But Will Be Out as Soon as Possible

John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in Tenet.
John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in Tenet.
Photo: Warner Bros.

Put a pin in Tenet one more time. After multiple delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, Warner Bros. has once again moved the Christopher Nolan film off its planned August 12 release with a new date to be announced “imminently.”


“We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” Toby Emmerich, Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a statement. “We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.”

What does that mean? Well, the film is very likely to open overseas before it opens in the United States, as coronavirus cases fall there and rise here. Deadline reports the film could open in some parts of the U.S., such as in drive-ins, on September 11, but that’s unconfirmed. It’s very likely, though, that audiences in smaller cities (where movie theaters are open) will get to see Tenet before those in larger cities, where the theaters are still closed.

Also, Deadline reports there are no plans to release Tenet earlier than usual to streaming or on-demand services. The company wants a theatrical release, through and through. Warner Bros. also announced that The Conjuring 3 is moving from its planned September 11 release to June 4, 2021, and that release dates for movies due later this year, such as Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune, remain unchanged. For now.

We’ll continue to monitor the release of the highly anticipated sci-fi heist movie, as well as all the other big theatrical movies that could be playing a theater near you in the future.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


All of these movies getting pushed back while it seems like productions are starting to get back off the ground raises another interesting question:

How the hell do we fit everything in theaters? In the past few years we were already getting in to a situation where a new BIG MOVIE was coming out nearly every week. So stuff would come out, get a big opening, and then drop if something new and big came out the following week or two.

If we’ve got such a massive backlog of movies piling up...what’s going to help make sure those can find success as other movies that were originally scheduled start coming out.

We can’t just keep lifting and shifting. At some point the damn is going to have to break and stuff is going to start going to digital...even the bigger name films.