‘Tenet’ Could Lose Money But Still Be Vital for Hollywood

Christopher Nolan’s film could provide valuable info for an industry trying to recover box office revenue…if an outbreak doesn’t ruin release plans again

After multiple setbacks, Warner Bros. is trying an unprecedented overseas-first strategy to release Christopher Nolan’s $200 million thriller “Tenet” during a global pandemic that could be valuable to the film industry even if the box office returns are lackluster. But first, it has to actually get to theaters…and that’s no guarantee.

“We don’t even know if theaters overseas will have to close again if the pandemic worsens, and there’s no precedent we could lean on to come up with an estimate on how much this movie could make,” Boxoffice editor Daniel Loria told TheWrap. “The pandemic has thrown out all the usual models on audience turnout and marketing spends, so there’s no telling if it is even possible for ‘Tenet’ to break even. But the industry still needs ‘Tenet’ to come out so we can get some idea of how a new release could perform under these conditions.”

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster