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Things We Saw Today: Tenet IS Coming Out in August, Just Not in the U.S.

trailer screenshot of john david washington in tenet. Warner Brothers.

Oh, Tenet, you can’t stop playing with our hearts and hopes for the Summer movie season. First, you’re on the schedule, then you’re off and now, you’re back on with a promised release date of August 26 … pretty much everywhere but here in the US.

Yes indeed, Warner Brothers announced today that Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited action thriller will bow in over 70 international markets in just under a month, before, theoretically, hitting US screens for Labor Day weekend on September 3. These markets will include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom … basically all the countries that have gotten their acts together and are now in the actual recovery stages of a pandemic, as opposed to the US which seems to be taking an “if everyone is dead, no one else can get sick” approach to COVID-19.

Overall, it makes perfect sense for Warner Brothers to do this because like all the other movie studios and businesses out there, they need to make money, and if the US market isn’t going to provide it, at least the international one might. There are risks to this however, one being piracy, but another specific one for Tenet being that an international run before the US means that US audience might learn ahead of time what Tenet is actually about, something Christopher Nolan just isn’t a fan of. But, I think people will still want to see the movie.

An unknown variable here is China, which just opened theaters last week with limited capacities and mixed box office results. New rules in China supposedly mean that movies can’t run in theaters if they are over two hours long (which Tenet is) but they don’t seem to be getting enforced. Still, we’ll see if that happens.

Will an early international release for Tenet restart the movie industry everywhere but here. Like the plot of Tenet, it’s a mystery.

(via Variety, image: Warner Brothers)

Here are a few other things we saw today.

What did you see today?

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.