It was announced late last week that Christopher Nolan's Tenet will arrive in theaters on July 31st, two weeks after the original release date. Major movie theater chains have been closed since earlier this year, though there is a plan to get them open by next month in order to launch Tenet and Disney's live-action remake of Mulan. Nolan and Warner Bros. stuck to their guns much longer than expected, but a delay was eminent. Apparently, the talks led to a disagreement between the studio and Nolan.
Christopher Nolan reportedly wants Tenet to open in theaters this summer to help get them back on their feet. He believes that his movie will be able to bring people in, and he's not wrong. Nolan has that kind of power, though this current time makes things more than uncertain. There is no way the director was going to allow the movie to go straight to VOD like The King of Staten Island or Trolls World Tour. That was not going to be a possibility.
On the other hand, Tenet reportedly cost Warner Bros. over $200 million to make, and they want to protect their investment. So, pushing the movie back further was their original pitch to Christopher Nolan, who allegedly wasn't having it. There was allegedly a "fraught moment" between the two parties before the studio agreed to the July 31st release date, which may have helped them a bit in the end. When it comes down to it, Nolan is a proven moneymaker at the box office and they will do pretty much whatever it takes to keep him happy.
While Tenet is scheduled to hit theaters on July 31st, there is no guarantee that it will happen. Theaters are going to have to try and experiment with opening their doors and nobody is entirely sure how that is going to look. Going beyond that, cases have not started to dwindle and are instead on the rise, which means people may not want to go into theaters to see any movies at all. In fact, theaters may have to shut down again if things keep getting worse, so it would not be surprising at all to see Tenet get a later release date.
In addition to wanting to help reopen movie theaters, Christopher Nolan needs Tenet to be released soon to avoid spoilers. The Secrets of Tenet: Inside Christopher Nolan's Quantum Cold War book is still scheduled to come out on July 17th and they books have more than likely already been manufactured, which means that spoilers could hit the internet at any time between now and July 17th. So, it will be very interesting to see what happens with the Tenet release date and movie theaters this summer. The New York Times were the first to report on Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. butting heads over the Tenet release date delay.