How Long Is Tenet and When Can You See It?

Shot by Shot with the 'Tenet' Trailer

“Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.”

Thanks to the Korea Media Rating Board, we’ve learned the official runtime for the upcoming Christopher Nolan thriller, Tenet. At a runtime of 149 minutes and 59 seconds, Tenet clocks in at about the middle of the road, as far as Nolan’s other films are concerned.  Interstellar still holds the record for his longest at 169 minutes. Given that length, can we expect less exposition from Tenet? Unlikely! Inception is only a minute shorter. 

When Can We See It?

The bigger question is “when will we see the film?” Warner Bros. has been quite bullish with the film’s release date, to their detriment. The initial release in theaters of 17 July, the $200 million John David Washington vehicle made the push to 31 July and then bumped to 12 August. 

Now, with COVID-19 cases rising at record levels in the US, that 12 August date appears to be in jeopardy, if analysts and common sense are taken into consideration. Over at Deadline, box office analyst Eric Handler is less optimistic about the state of theaters and doesn’t think we’ll be getting back into the movies until the Fall, at the earliest:

“The near-term outlook for exhibition related stocks remains extremely clouded. It would be surprising to see theaters able to re-open nationwide before September, at the earliest.”

That’s certainly bad news for those wanting to see this flick and return to some sense of normalcy. Even with cases falling in many European countries, US states like California are pulling the plug on their plans to reopen, to include movie theaters, due to rising cases across the state. 

All that said, don’t expect to see this film skip the theaters, as many films this year have. Nolan has been quite adamant that this movie requires a theatrical viewing, even going as far as to pen an op-ed in March, writing “Movie theaters are a vital part of American social life. They will need our help.” In a way, you can understand his insistence, as the movie is shot utilizing his signature mixture of IMAX and 70mm film, which begs to be seen on the big screen.  

Theaters had been hoping to reopen, in limited capacity, this past weekend, instituting social distancing standards. Cinemark and AMC weren’t going to require patrons to wear masks but quickly reversed their policies amid a backlash. It’s too little, as anti-masker behavior has sunk any chance of theaters opening any time soon in the US.

If Tenet does slip from 12 August, that’ll put Disney’s Mulan in the unenviable position of being the film that opens the 2020 Summer box office on 21 August.  I think it’s safe to say that no film studio wants to be associated with an uptick in COVID-19 cases.  That said, it’s likely just a matter of time before Disney pushes Mulan’s live action outing back to September or later.

RELATED – Tenet Will Be A HUGE Gamble For WB — Will Movie Bring In A New Era Of Filmmaking?

Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh and you’ll be able to catch it in theaters…eventually.

So, what do you think? Is Warner Bros. going to take the plunge and move Tenet again? Will releasing it be worth the gamble? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Brandon Jones

Unexcitable. A killer. A gentleman and nerdy before it became cool. Jonesy is a lifelong techie, cinefile, gamer & political junkie. He's the host of LRM's Premier, Flagship and International podcast, Breaking Geek Radio.

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