Assuming the movie theater industry even survives the coronavirus, which is not a given, something has to be the big movie that convinces people to risk their lives and the lives of others so they can experience the thrill of the cinema once again. For a long time, the assumption was that it would be Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, since it’s the only major movie that hasn’t canceled its theatrical rollout, but then we heard about a Russell Crowe movie called Unhinged that’s specifically trying to beat it to theaters by opening several weeks earlier on July 1. Then we saw the trailer for Unhinged and figured that only a handful of theaters in the country will even be open by July 1 and went back to thinking it would be Tenet again.
Tenet is supposed to be in theaters on July 17, and despite the fact that the virus is still an ongoing threat and now there are protests against racial injustice and police violence happening all over the world, Warner Bros. seems to have every intention of sticking to that date. According to Deadline, Cinemark theater chain CEO Mark Zoradi said as much earlier today, noting that his company has been “in close contact with Warner Bros.” and that it and Nolan are “optimistic and positive” that Tenet will stick to July 17. Zoradi himself won’t commit to Cinemark itself being ready for July 17 (which hints at why this may be an issue), but he does say that he needs to give the public “a date that you can plan to” for reopening theaters.
Backing up a little: July 17 is relatively soon. Deadline points out that New York and Los Angeles haven’t event set dates for when their theaters will be granted permission to reopen, so it’s pretty likely that they won’t be open by then, which would mean Tenet would be missing out on two huge markets (at least two, actually, since there are other major cities that might not be ready by then). There’s always a chance everything will be better by July 17, but unless Nolan actually has access to the time travel stuff that the movie seems to be about, it seems unlikely.
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.