'Tenet' to Open Overseas in Late August, Followed by Select U.S. Cities Over Labor Day

Christopher Nolan's tentpole is shelving a traditional release and opening where it can amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, even if cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles remain closed.

In a win for those theater owners who are able to reopen, Tenet will now open first overseas in more than 70 countries starting on Aug. 26, followed by select U.S. cities on Sept. 3 in advance of the long Labor Day weekend.

The official dating news came a week after Warner Bros. said it was shelving a traditional release for Christopher Nolan's film amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and that it could no longer wait for a global day-and-date release.

This means that Tenet could launch without such major U.S. markets as New York City and Los Angeles if cinemas in those cities are still unable to switch on the lights. As of Monday, local government and health authorities in more than 30 states have told theaters they can reopen, while cinemas can reopen in parts of 10 or so additional states.

Per Warner Bros., the major foreign territories where Tenet will open include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Spain and the U.K. The film has been approved for theatrical release in China, though no specific date has been issued. 

Cinemas in the U.S. and across the globe are introducing staggered seating and heightened sanitary measure as they reopen.

This marks the third time Tenet has moved; its original launching pad was July 17, followed by July 31 and then Aug. 12. Nolan and Warners have remained intent on providing providing distressed cinema owners with a boost when theaters reopen. That position still holds.

Just six weeks ago, it would have been unfathomable to imagine debuting a $200 million tentpole without the entire U.S. moviegoing market in play. But with COVID-19 cases rising in L.A. and cinemas still shut in New York, the thinking has changed despite the risk of piracy.

Without new product, the box office could remain dark into next year, dragging down cinemas across the world and film studios.

All of Hollywood has been waiting to see what Tenet would do — and Solstice Studios in particular. Hours after Warners made its announcement, Solstice said that the Russell Crowe road-rage thriller Unhinged will now open on Aug. 21. (Like Tenet and Disney's Mulan, Unhinged has moved its release date several times in recent weeks.)

Below are Tenet''s opening dates for various territories.

Wednesday, Aug. 26:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Thursday, Aug. 27:
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Middle East, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates

Friday, Aug. 28:
East Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Vietnam

Wednesday, Sept. 2:
United States

Thursday, Sept. 3:
Kuwait and Qatar

Thursday, Sept. 10:
Azerbaijan, CIS Others, Kazakhstan, Russia

Thursday, Sept. 17:

Friday, Sept. 18:

Dates TBD: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Uruguay and Venezuela.

July 27, 12:30 p.m. Updated with new Unhinged release date.

July 29, 9:00 p.m.: Updated with Tenet's approval to release in China.