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The $200 million espionage epic began rolling out where it could in the U.S. on Aug. 31 in advance of the long Labor Day weekend. However, Warner Bros. said Tenet wouldn’t play in markets where indoor moviegoing is still off-limits amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including Los Angeles and New York City, where Nolan’s films do particularly well.
The studio reversed course earlier this week, just as indoor cinemas in nearby Orange County gained approval to reopen. The O.C. becomes only the second California market to receive the okay after San Diego. It isn’t yet clear when L.A. cinemas will be able to flip on the lights, but it could be weeks away.
By Friday, Tenet will be playing in five drive-ins in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as outdoor venues in Orange County, San Diego and the Bay Area.
Drive-in locations have enjoyed a renaissance since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing indoor cinemas across the country and globe to go dark for months. All told, Tenet is playing in more than 90 such locations.
In the U.S., many indoor theater chains timed their reopenings to Tenet, which is the first Hollywood tentpole to brave debuting on the big screen in the coronavirus era.
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