There may be a lot of progress left to be made before the movie theaters around the country are ready to open up again, but that hasn't changed the fact that Warner Bros. is still planning on releasing Christopher Nolan's Tenet on July 17th. COVID-19 has essentially wiped out the summer movie season, but WB and Nolan continue to believe that Tenet will be able to arrive safely in theaters and kick things back into high gear. While there is doubt all over the industry that this can happen, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi is remaining optimistic.
During Cinemark's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday morning, Zoradi said that he has spoken with Warner Bros. on multiple occasions, and believes that the studio will stick to the July 17th release date.
"We've been in close contact with Warner Bros. and they remain optimistic and positive as well as Christopher Nolan about the July 17th opening," Zoradi responded when asked about the Tenet release. "Of course, it depends on the continued positive movement due to the decline of COVID-19 and government restrictions being reduced."
There will be several challenges for Tenet if it does plan to hit theaters in July, chief among them the fact that several of North America's biggest markets haven't set a date for businesses like movie theaters to reopen. New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and others remained closed, and it doesn't seem as though that will change in the next month. Will Warner Bros. let loose one of its two major tentpoles of the year when the top markets in the country aren't even open?
On top of that, the theaters that will be open by that time will have plenty of restrictions, including limited capacity seating. Cinemark, for example, will only have 50% of its seats in every theater available. There may be nothing else playing in theaters when Tenet is released, but how many people will actually be able to go see it? These are questions Warner Bros. will continue to wrestle with until July arrives.
Of course, the positive trends could continue over the next month and Tenet could hit theaters without an issue. That just doesn't appear to be nearly as likely.
Do you think Tenet will still hit theaters on July 17th? If it's pushed back, how long do you think Warner Bros. will wait? Let us know your best guess in the comments!