Why Warner Bros. Should Reconsider Releasing ‘Tenet’ for Streaming on HBO Max

Moving “Tenet” to HBO Max could be the “battering ram” WarnerMedia needs against Amazon and Roku, analysts say

Warner Bros. delayed “Tenet” again this week — this time indefinitely — slapping an even bigger question mark on the prospect of movie theaters reopening anytime soon. And Warner parent company AT&T’s CEO John Stankey on Thursday said the company has no intention of forgoing a theatrical release for the film and debuting it on PVOD or its new streaming service, HBO Max.

But analysts see a major upside to such a bold move — and even Stankey signaled that other upcoming Warner Bros. titles could skip theaters for a debut on streaming. “Shifting ‘Tenet,’ a $200 million-plus budget film from Warner Bros., directed by Christopher Nolan directly to HBO Max could be just the power move WarnerMedia needs right now,” Lightshed analysts Rich Greenfield, Brandon Ross and Mark Kelley wrote this week in a blog post for clients. “If WarnerMedia has the guts and financial wherewithal to pivot ‘Tenet’ to HBO Max, we will quickly learn who is ‘king,’ content or distribution.”

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Trey Williams

Trey Williams

Film Reporter covering the biz • trey.williams@thewrap.com • Twitter: @trey3williams