Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to stop waiting for the United States to get its act together, and the studio is releasing Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” in over 70 international markets. These locations include the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Unlike the United States, many localities in these countries have flattened the curve and have seen drastic improvements, and Warner Bros. Pictures is risking a release at the end of the summer.

“Tenet” is now slated to premiere in these locations on August 26th, and theaters in the United States could see the movie as early as September 3rd. The staggered release could become the new normal as studios struggle to release a backlog of movies that have been on hold since the start of 2020.

Releasing a film in the United States is particularly challenging. While former hotspots like New York have seen dramatic decreases in the amount of new COVID-19 cases, it’s done so by keeping theaters closed and public gatherings to a minimum. On the other hand, States that opened early are now seeing a drastic rise in new cases, which is threatening to force states to undergo another lockdown. New York and Los Angeles are two of the largest markets for studios, and they are both closed at the moment, which could influence a studio’s decision to release any film domestically.

Warner Bros. Pictures will have to choose which states to release the film in, which is something that hasn’t been tested before. With a budget of $200M, the studio doesn’t want to release “Tenet” on HBO Max, or simply on-demand. All the while, theaters are struggling to remain open while waiting for “Tenet” and “Mulan” to hit theaters.

Moviegoers should remember that the studio’s decision to release “Tenet” in the United States is by no means any indication that it would be safe to hit the theaters themselves. The film has already been delayed three times, and Warner Bros. Pictures is desperate to release the movie and start collecting box office revenue before the start of the next financial quarter.

The United States has seen over 4.1M COVID-19 cases this year, and over 145K people have died since the start of the health crisis. In July, the United States has seen daily spikes reach 74K people a day. While the studio is eager for you to see “Tenet,” check your local state levels of infection before you sit in a theater with recycled air for over 2.5 hours. You can check on cases on Bing or the WHO.

You can keep track of the ongoing box office delays, and check on the new release dates that have been confirmed by the studios.

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