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Tenet: When Nolan’s Movie Could Actually Release In Theaters

Tenet’s latest trailer made no mention of the film’s scheduled July release date, so we look to predict when the movie will hit theaters.

The new Tenet trailer made no mention of a release date, so when can viewers expect to see it in theaters? In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, just about every movie that was supposed to come out between mid-March and July was either delayed to a later window or went straight to on-demand/streaming. One of the most notable outliers through all of this has been Christopher Nolan's Tenet, which has remained slated in its original July 17 release date. The hope is Tenet can be the first big movie to welcome audiences back to the theater once multiplexes reopen across the country and around the world.

That sentiment sounds nice on-paper, but in reality the situation is far more complex than that. There's still no guarantee it will be safe enough for Tenet to play in July. It's been said Warner Bros. needs 80% of the world's movie theaters open to justify releasing the $200 million tentpole, and it remains to be seen when that will happen. Despite all the uncertainty, WB unveiled a new Tenet trailer recently, revealing some plot details in the process. However, most noticed the end tag simply said "Coming to Theaters," omitting a set release date. So when will Tenet come out?

Related: Tenet Movie Trailer 2 Breakdown: 14 Plot Reveals & Hidden Details

It's worth mentioning that as of this writing, Tenet's official social media accounts display the July 17 release date in the header photo, giving the impression that's when it will debut. That said, it's telling the Tenet trailer opted to go in a different direction, and it served as a hint WB is at least considering moving it back. If they weren't, the trailer would have likely emphasized the July date in an effort to generate hype for a premiere that would take place in less than two month's time. Right now, it feels like Tenet will be delayed, which raises the question of when it would come out.

In the event Tenet is pushed back, it's expected to have a severe domino effect on the rest of the industry. One Hollywood insider believes if Tenet's delayed, "It's no movies until Christmas." WB does have Dune scheduled to come out this holiday season, so it's conceivable they could shift Tenet there instead. That would allow the studio to keep a huge, highly-anticipated movie in a lucrative December weekend. Tenet could take Wonder Woman 1984's August date or The Witches' October date, but December makes the most sense. For starters, there's lingering doubt Wonder Woman 1984 can make that August debut, and the holidays is a logical time for a movie of Tenet's scope. Hopefully by December, the health crisis is (somewhat) under control, and Tenet will be able to post solid numbers at the box office.

When the coronavirus outbreak took a turn for the worse in March, Tenet's July release seemed so far away, but (especially in movie terms) it's now right around the corner. And even as states begin to loosen restrictions and stay-home orders, a prevailing belief is that this is all happening prematurely - something Hollywood executives seem to agree with. Since safety is still a concern and there's stats indicating people won't be in a rush to go back to the movie theaters any time soon, many have felt Tenet's July date is simply too optimistic. With the new trailer, WB looks to be taking that position, and it wouldn't be surprising if a delay is announced in the near future. The studio's probably in the process of figuring that out and will make an announcement soon.

More: Tenet: Inversion & Reverse Time Travel Explained

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