When word came down the other day that Tenet was going to be released in seventy international markets and select cities in the United States, some people were a little confused by the list. How could it be worth it to Warner Bros. to release a movie where they weren't getting most or any of the two biggest markets in the world? The select cities in the United States, the biggest market for movies, could be very small, considering what a limited release in the United States usually entails. There was also the fact that China was left off of the list as well. If a movie does well in the Chinese market that can make or break you and there have been plenty of movies that bombed in the United States but hit big in China. It seems that Warner Bros. does have plans to release Tenet in China, and today they got approval. According to Variety, Warner Bros. got approval to release the movie in China.
This might be a little confusing to some since Tenet runs over two hours, and there is a directive in place that only movies that are under two hours can play. However, it's extremely unclear how enforced that directive is since theaters that are open in low-risk areas have booked old movies like Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, which is over two hours. However, since it seems unclear how enforced this guideline actually is, some theaters are hesitant to book a movie like Tenet that is over that 120-minute mark.
Yet at least two cinemas in Beijing said Wednesday in private chats posted to social media that due to the confusion, they currently didn't dare program approved, available titles over 120 minutes long — even the patriotic blockbuster "Wolf Warrior 2," which runs 123 minutes.
There currently isn't a release date for Tenet in China, but we can assume that will come soon and perhaps some clarification on whether or not this movie is going to be able to play in the region. Warner Bros. is going to be leaning on the Chinese market more than any other film in recent memory to try and recoup the costs of the extremely expensive Tenet. Whether or not it works remains to be seen. As for those of us in what could be those "select cities" going out into a room with recycled air where people aren't wearing their masks so they can stuff popcorn in their faces? Not a smart idea for the current hot zone of COVID-19. However, that is our own fault as people have decided Their Racist Uncle On Facebook, Their Aunt Currently Part Of A MLM, and That Guy From High School Who Is Bragging About Bar Hopping And Never Left Town were smarter than the combined efforts of the CDC and the WHO. Wear a bloody mask.
Tenet, directed by Christopher Nolan, stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.