Tenet director Christopher Nolan and his producer and wife, Emma Thomas, visited a Regal cinema in California recently to support the release of their latest blockbuster. The movie, often seen as the potential savior of cinemas, was the first major studio release to debut in theaters since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry. However, as some experts predicted it would, Tenet has failed to meet box office expectations in the weeks since its release, with several reports stating that the theaters that did open for its release might be worse off than they were prior to re-opening.
Indeed, Tenet's box office journey is off to a rocky start so far. The film debuted in theaters before a number of major markets had opened up, while all the theaters that were open were also following major social distancing guidelines. It took just $10 million in its first weekend in US theaters, and only $6.7 million in its second, though, it has fared better in international markets. Additionally, many believe that, with little competition over the next few months, given time Tenet could end up with a healthy box office taking. But for now, given both the film's high production budget and marketing costs - which only increased after its the multiple release date delays - things aren't looking particularly good for Tenet.
Nolan and Thomas, who produces all of the former's movies, were snapped by the staff at a Regal Cinema in Irvine, California. The couple were there to support Tenet's theatrical run, likely in an attempt to normalize returning to the cinemas. The photo, shared on Regal's social media channels, shows Nolan and Thomas wearing masks and standing - in a socially distanced manner - near the cinema's staff, who were all wearing masks too. A massive advertising banner for Tenet also hangs over the whole group. You can see the post below:
The public appearance marks yet another unprecedented move for the filmmaker. Usually content to let his movies and their stars do the talking, Nolan has changed his approach for Tenet. The writer and director has appeared in numerous interviews for the film, and has taken center stage during Tenet's recent promotional run. By appearing in person at a cinema, and letting the chain take a photo of him to share, Nolan is proving that he's determined to get fans into theaters to watch it, no matter what it takes.
His determination is understandable, since he and Warner Bros. undoubtedly have some concerns over the movie's continuing lack of box office traction in North America, given that it needs to make $500 million just to break even. The film's struggles are a shame too, since it, by all accounts, does deserve to be seen on a big screen. As is typical with one of Nolan's films, Tenet has already sparked numerous debates and discussions amongst those who have already seen it, but millions of Nolan's fans have been unable to join in the discussion up to this point. The problem is that many fans are not willing to risk their health, and that of those around them, to go and watch it during a pandemic. It begs the question: if WB was unwilling to release Tenet on-demand, why didn't they delay it to 2021, as the studio has done with a number of other tent poles, in order to truly give it the best chance to succeed? It's a question that is likely to keep fans and critics alike scratching their heads for a while to come.
Source: Regal Cinemas