But will audiences show up? Julia Alexander at The Verge on “Hollywood’s litmus test for what happens next”:
Warner Bros. was always betting that Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, his espionage-meets-time-travel film that marked his first since Dunkirk in 2017, would be one of the summer’s biggest movies. Now, Warner Bros. — alongside every other major studio — is looking at Tenet to see if summer movies can even exist right now.
Remember, only two people want you to return to the theaters right now: The theater CEO in charge of making money for shareholders, and the film’s director in charge of making money for the theaters, Christopher Nolan:
“I don’t know anyone in America who is pushing harder to get the theaters re-opened and to get his movie released than Chris Nolan,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond told analysts on a recent earnings call.
But neither of these people go to public theaters, and encouraging people to congregate in an enclosed space for two hours is irresponsible at best and borderline criminal. Regardless of if you see Tenet in a theater surrounded by potentially infectious people or you wait to rent it at home two months later, it’ll be the same movie, only at home you can enjoy it from the comfort of your couch. (Pro tip: Upgrade your home movie experience with a soundbar for your TV.)
I’ve enjoyed Nolan’s films since his early work on Following and Memento, but I’m disappointed in his rush to get people into a public theater. On the one hand, I’m sure he’s worked very hard on his film and is excited for the world to see it; on the other hand, there’s a deadly pandemic ravaging the world and this is not the time to sit with strangers in an enclosed space. I’m sorry if he doesn’t understand this, or worse, doesn’t care.
Go to the theater when it’s safe to do so, but please stay home this summer. The theater, the mall, even Disneyland: it’s just not worth the potential risk of getting yourself, your family, and your community sick.
Update 9/16: Tenet missed the July 17th date in the article by almost two months and once released flopped financially at the box office.