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'Tenet' Gets Sep 3 Release Date, 'Unhinged' Moved Up to Aug 21

Posted on Monday, July 27, 2020 3:00 PM and updated on Monday, July 27, 2020 5:22 PM

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Movie photo ©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Hollywood Reporter has published an article recently that says that Tenet will now open in whatever theaters are open in the United States on Thursday, September 3, 2020:

Christopher Nolan's tentpole is shelving a traditional release and opening where it can amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, even if cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles remain closed.

In a win for those theater owners who are able to reopen, Tenet will now open first overseas in more than 70 countries starting on Aug. 26, followed by select U.S. cities on Sept. 3 in advance of the long Labor Day weekend.

Click the Read link below to view the full article.

In related news, Russell Crowe's Unhinged has been moved up from August 31 to August 21.

Christopher Nolan's movie has been moved around more times than anyone would like as the studio has tried to avoid the problem of closed theaters around the country. Apparently, after several delays (with the most recent being a complete removal from the schedule last week), Warner Bros. would rather get the movie seen and hope for a long run in theaters.

Longer Runs are a Good Thing

I think that the industry would do well if movies were expected to run longer. Less attention paid to how high the peak is would reduce the pressure on marketing, on theaters, and on consumers to get one movie through the chute before pushing another one through. When you have multiple popular movies, it's a lot easier for everyone involved to market, present, and enjoy them if you have a little more time.

The result may be even larger box office results, which everyone should be happy with. Last year's biggest grossing movie was Avengers: Endgame. It made over 41% of its box office revenue ($855M) in its first weekend, it reached 72% by its second weekend, 99.9% in 15 weeks, and by week #20, it was done.

In 1997 and 1998, Titanic made a total of about $601M, which is about $957M in 2019 money. While it's not useful to compare box office totals because the average ticket price changed just a bit in 22 years, let's just say these are two really big movies of their time. It made just under 5% of its total in its first weekend, and it didn't cross the 72% mark until week number twelve. It took 37 weeks to get to the same 99.9% mark.

Graphs comparing Box Office PercentagesComparing the curves of % of Box Office Total between Titanic (left) and Avengers: Endgame (right)

Not all movies can have the staying power of Titanic, but maybe they could if they didn't try to make all their money in the first couple of weeks. While Tenet isn't going to be able to take advantage of the same open market conditions, let's hope that it will be successful nonetheless and pave the way for a calmer approach to releasing movies!

Based upon data found on BoxOfficeMojo.

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