‘Tenet’ Approved For Chinese Theatrical Release
At long last, Christopher Nolan’s psychological thriller Tenet has been approved for a theatrical release in China. The news follows Warner Bros.’ announcement that the film will be initially released in 70 countries on August 26, including Australia, Canada, the UK, and Japan. In the US, Tenet will appear in select cities starting September 3, just in time for Labor Day Weekend.
According to Variety, the Chinese version of the Tenet poster swaps out the English tagline "“Time runs out” with a phrase that roughly means “Make every second count; invade the theaters.” Well, an invasion might prove to be difficult under Chinese cinemas’ current conditions. Around 44 percent of theaters have reopened, but must operate at 30 percent capacity to allow for social distancing. On top of that, the National Film Bureau requested that theaters not play any movie that runs over two hours. C’mon, have you seen a Nolan film? That's nearly impossible. However, Chinese authorities have approved the Harry Potter movies and Interstellar for re-release, so that specific rule must not be set in stone.
China is without a doubt the most crucial foreign market for Tenet. Nolan’s films have always performed strongly at the Chinese box office, with Inception grossing $68.4 million in 2010 and Interstellar raking in $122 million in 2014. By this point, Tenet has become somewhat of a litmus test for American blockbusters that aim to be released in the coming months. The chances of the movie making a profit are slim — it would reportedly need to gross $800 million just to break even. As it faces delay after delay, complication after complication, we must hold out hope that Tenet will prevail.
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