You can’t blame WarnerMedia/AT&T for trying to put ignite the theaters earlier this year with Warner Bros. Pictures’ Tenet. This all despite the unclear status of a lot of theaters in the country. They rolled the dice and released the Christopher Nolan film during Labor Day Weekend. Sadly it didn’t do well because of the fact that theaters in New York and California remained closed, two of the country’s biggest box office markets.
John Stankey CEO of WarnerMedia talked about the uncertainty of theatrical releases. As well as their disappointment with Tenet on an investor conference call via Deadline. “I can’t tell you that we walked away from the Tenet experience saying it was a home run,” Stankey said.
On Tenet, he said, “I’m happy we did it. I think the team was incredibly creative. We learned a few things about what we can do. I think if theatres were open nation-wide if California and New York were open, we’d have some latitude… So maybe as we get to a place where there is a little more consistent footprint we can do some more.”
Stankey talked about the holiday season as WarnerMedia’s “next big checkpoint” to see if they can once again begin to release films in theaters. The film they are currently holding for that holiday release is Wonder Woman 1984. All the rest have been pushed back to 2021 and beyond. But even with a new year, he says that they aren’t very optimistic about the first few months of 2021.
“We’re still committed to put some of the content that we think is most important into the theatrical channel,” he said. But “We’re expecting this to be incredibly choppy moving into next year… We are not optimistic… not expecting a huge recovery in theatrical moving into the early part of next year.”
I think as far as Tenet went, I got so sick of always hearing about it for months as the first blockbuster back that I lost interest. The other thing is that I was never going to go back to theaters until they were up and running for a few months. Let them work out any early issues and then enjoy any updates they had to make. But I do hope that we can get back to safely getting together and watch some amazing films on the big screen where they belong.
What do you think of the current status of theaters? Will WarnerMedia roll the dice again this year? Let us know in the comment section below.