Other than maybe Quentin Tarantino, the only other director who can open a movie based on their name alone is Christopher Nolan. He’s Warner Bros.’ crown jewel, meaning he can make whatever he wants at seemingly any price. Case in point: his latest film, Tenet. Hyped as the movie that will save the industry, Tenet has seen its release date shift twice now after initially planning to release on July 17th.
The new date is August 12th, but the likelihood of it remaining there is slim. Especially given how much Warner Bros. has riding on Nolan’s latest event film. A report from IndieWire suggests the pic needs to earn a minimum of $800 million to turn a profit. Those are lofty expectations for a project that isn’t a sequel or based on a pre-existing property. But that’s the power of Nolan.
Three years ago, he released a WWII movie in the heart of the summer and it made more than $500 million. Three years before that, Interstellar came to theaters in November and made more than $600 million worldwide. But both of those pics only carried a price tag between $150-165 million.
Tenet, on the other hand, exceeds $200 million. Throw in marketing and promotion and the sci-fi film is costing Warner Bros. in excess of $400 million, meaning it has to double that number for the studio to earn back its expensive investment. Nolan is adamant that the movie release in theaters, too, and obviously, WB has no intention of sending it to VOD. But with things still pretty shaky out there, it remains to be seen if it’ll make its August date.
In any case, based on this report, no movie has more riding on it than Nolan’s latest, and all eyes will be on Tenet whenever it eventually opens to see if it can live up to the incredible amounts of hype that surround it.