Warner Brothers has double-downed on the fact it wants Tenet to remain a theatrical release. Even when other studios are bending the rules and releasing films straight to VOD services, WB is holding strong on giving the Christopher Nolan flick a traditional theatrical release. The studio is so dedicated to sending Tenet to theatres, it announced Monday morning that the movie is receiving a wide release in specific international markets as early as August while getting released in select cities domestically during Labor Day weekend.
The movie, one which most movie-goers considered the first true blockbuster of the year, could certainly set a precedent with other studios in Hollywood, even more so if you look at an outfit like Marvel Studios. Over the past 12 years, the Kevin Feige-helmed outfit has intricately woven a complex cinematic universe together with a singular continuity amongst dozens of films and shortly, a handful of television shows.
Eventually, Marvel Studios will get to a point they'll have to release movies whether or not the United States theater industry is ready for it. Not only will Disney need the revenue from whatever markets they can get, but there's also the interwoven story at play that will have a direct impact on future releases.
While some larger movies are doing a theatrical release alongside a straight-to-VOD push — see Orion's Bill & Ted Face the Music — it's a reasonable belief Black Widow is still too large of a release to go straight to VOD or for that matter, even Disney+. As of now, the Mouse has yet to make a similar decision with The New Mutants, a much smaller movie in the grand scheme of things.
As it stands now, Cate Shortland's Black Widow is set for release in November and it's hard to say what will happen with our theater situation here stateside between now and then. Chains were initially hoping to be open everywhere in July, hopes quickly dashed at several major markets became overnight hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus.
There's a lot that can happen between now and November, and I think it's pretty apparent we're all in an unprecedented time. Should COVID numbers continue to rise, Disney might not have any other choice but to release it internationally weeks in advance.
Black Widow is currently set for a release date on November 11th while Tenet will be released in select cities on September 4th.