There is little doubt that most people are still questioning why Tenet needed to get a theatrical release when it would be easier (and safer) to simply make the film available for VOD on a streaming service. However, WarnerMedia boss Ann Sarnoff has been quick to defend the decision to release the Christopher Nolan movie in cinemas, claiming that it would be best seen "on a big screen."
Sarnoff recently spoke to Deadline where she admitted that she had seen Tenet in a cinema and that "it's so great on so many levels to be back in theater." The Warner Bros. CEO also stated that the Robert Pattinson flick is "a movie that wants to be on a big screen."
"You look across the hundreds of countries where we debuted Tenet, many more theaters were open in the U.S. and they were craving product," Sarnoff said. "We've been analyzing numbers and consumer behavior, so we've been studying this since COVID began. We crunched the numbers and figured out a way to make it work. Don't spend all your money up front! Pace yourself, it's a marathon and not a sprint."
Sarnoff also advised movie theaters to release the movie when they do open although they should manage their expectations.
"Release it, don't expect a huge opening weekend, but as you know, even though there's reduced capacity, we're getting more theaters per location. We felt this was the right thing until there's a vaccine, I don't know how much it's going to change between now and then. For the markets, where cases are low, and people feel safe to go to movies, I'm excited to give them this amazing movie," Sarnoff said.
Interestingly, the strategy may have worked as Tenet has been doing well since its release in the UK last week.
Tenet is currently screening in theaters worldwide.