After several delays, Christopher Nolan's Tenet is going to be getting a theatrical release this summer after all, it's just not happening here in the United States. With the US still seeing coronavirus spikes around the country, movie theaters remain closed. However, other countries have been able to minimize the pandemic to the point that theaters are safely reopening, so Warner Bros. has made the decision to begin rolling its biggest 2020 title in those markets. The studio announced on Monday that Tenet would be arriving in over 70 countries worldwide on August 26th.
This will allow Tenet to still be the major summer blockbuster that Nolan and the studio always intended. The plan, as of now, is to release Tenet in the United States a week after its international rollout, on Labor Day weekend. That domestic release will only happen in "select cities," according to WB's press release, likely meaning that it will be arriving stateside even if not every city is has movie theaters open.
The idea of rolling Tenet out overseas before its US debut has been on the table as of late, with many countries around the world starting to reintroduce some normalcy after flattening the curve of COVID-19. Cases in the United States, on the other hand, continue to surge.
The countries getting Tenet on August 26th include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, and the UK.
The big question mark now will be whether or not the situation here in the US gets any better by the time Labor Day weekend rolls around. If things don't improve, it will be hard to release the film in any major markets. The idea of releasing the film in "select cities" could work in theory, but it does open a few different issues. There's obviously the spoiler discussion of it all, as some folks in the country will have access to the film before others. More importantly, though, is how this gradual rollout could aid the spread of COVID-19. People in large markets where theaters aren't open could travel to a city that has the virus more under control, just to see Tenet in theaters. At this point, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Tenet is currently set to arrive in select theaters in the United States on September 3rd.