I think I speak for almost everyone when I curse the pandemic and all the gosh-darn waiting it’s forced us to do this year. Remember when anticipating Christopher Nolan’s mysterious thriller Tenet was our collective coronavirus hobby? It seems like eons ago. Now, all of America has pivoted to a very different high-stakes waiting game, but we’re here to deliver some positive news: for all the Nolan heads who didn’t feel safe braving a movie theater, Warner Bros. has finally announced a home release date for Tenet on December 15.
As a brief refresher, Nolan’s time-bending film was supposed to be the biggest blockbuster of the summer, with an original release date of July 17, 2020. After multiple coronavirus-fueled delays, Tenet finally debuted on September 3 in places where movie theaters had reopened, at least. For lots of reasons — people didn’t feel safe yet seeing films indoors, plus cinemas in major markets like New York City were still shuttered — Tenet didn’t make as much money as filmmakers would’ve hoped. The budget for the globe-trotting blockbuster exceeded $200 million, but Tenet has only grossed $350 million worldwide so far. And just $53.8 million of that is from U.S. ticket sales.
Warner Bros. appears to have realized that it needs a new tactic if the studio hopes to transform the film into a financial success. So it’s giving the premium video-on-demand route a whirl. Starting in mid-December, you’ll be able to shell out $19.99 to stream Tenet from the comfort of your own couch. Since Warner Bros. and HBO Max both fall under the same corporate umbrella, it’s plausible the newest Nolan flick could hit the streamer on some far-off future date. But considering the studio’s goal right now is to make as much money as possible, we wouldn’t bank on watching Tenet from home for free anytime soon.
So there you go, America. These are shaping up to be your holiday entertainment options: Either give Hollywood $20 for the privilege of seeing Tenet or brave the cinema for Wonder Woman 1984. Everything else is cancelled for… forever.