On Monday, Warner Bros. removed Christopher Nolan's next film, Tenet, from its release schedule. The move comes after a series of delays in the film's release due to American theaters' inability to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Steven Zeitchik, an entertainment writer for The Washington Post, reports that, while Warner Bros. no longer has an official date for Tenet, it is eying specific dates privately. According to Zeitchik, the studio is considering opening Tenet internationally on August 26th and in domestic theaters on Labor Day weekend. That backs up the theory that Tenet will open overseas before opening in North America, and the suggestion that the film wouldn't be able to open in August domestically.
The latest working dates within Warner Bros for Tenet, I’m hearing, is Aug 26 overseas and Labor Day weekend in the U.S.— Steven Zeitchik (@zeitchikWaPo) July 21, 2020
The box office is looking at a 70 percent decline in revenue this year as a result of theaters closing due to the coronavirus pandemic and having to delay reopening due to new COVID-19 surges. Cinemark Theaters announced in June that it would put off opening until Friday, July 24th, in response to the delays of studio films like Tenet, as well as Mulan.
"Cinemark is pleased with the moviegoer response and key learnings from our initial five-theatre test-and-learn phase in the Dallas area, and we look forward to welcoming movie fans back into our auditoriums across the country to enjoy this year's newest films," said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi in a press release. "Our multi-phased reopening plan was thoughtfully designed with multiple contingencies in place that enable us to efficiently adapt to today's ever-changing environment. We continue to pay close attention to status of the virus, local mandates and availability of new content while prioritizing the health and safety of our guests, employees and communities."
Rival chain AMC Theatres made a similar announcement, pushing back it's reopening until July 30th. "We continue to devote extraordinary resources into our plan to operate our theatres with a hyper commitment to the safety and health of our guests and associates, notably in the United States through our new AMC Safe & Clean initiative," said AMC Theatres CEO and president Adam Aron. "Our theatre general managers across the U.S. started working full time again today and are back in their theatres gearing up to get their buildings fully ready just a few weeks from now for moviegoers. That happy day, when we can welcome guests back into most of our U.S. theatres, will be Thursday, July 30."
In April, Cinemark sold $250 million worth of debt securities. Chains and studios continue to come up with plans to draw audiences back into movie theaters once they do reopen, including bringing popular movies back into theaters. And yet, at least half of theatergoers say they'll avoid going to see a film even once theaters are open again.