Tenet is the latest Hollywood big-budget movie that has, in a bold decision, been released in movie theaters in several parts of the world. This, despite the fact that COVID-19 pandemic has theaters shut all over the world and the paranoia is keeping people away from crowded areas. At a time like this, Christopher Nolan decided to release his $200-million film in theaters. Let's get into why this is his worst decision ever.
First of all, you need to understand that a $200 million budget does not mean that the producers are in profit once box office collections go above $200 million globally.
Not at all – box office collections also include distributor and theater chain commissions. Usually, as a general rule of thumb, the movie will need to make somewhere around $1 billion in worldwide box office collections to get a sizeable profit on the $200 million budget.
Even more if you are talking about major collections from China. Because in China, producers don't get 95% of the total box office collections.
And $200 million is just the movie's production budget. Considering Tenet is a big Nolan movie with stars like John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, marketing will be in overdrive, around 10-20% over and above the budget.
With very limited opening in the US and Europe, and even China, Tenet has reached $150 million at the global box office and is not even likely to cross $500 million in the next few weeks of release.
Instead, we think Tenet should have been released in 2021. At least after the COVID-19 vaccine comes out. First, it would have made much more money at the box office. Second, the hype would have been superb as vaccinated, happier moviegoers stepped out to watch a film on the big screen for the first time in months.
Tenet is a movie to watch on the big screen, sure. So, releasing on streaming platforms doesn't make sense. Thus, the producers have a point that delaying theatrical release would further the studio's losses.
But I think releasing it at this time, when most people are wary of stepping into a movie theater, furthers the losses. Spending a few million to wait it out till 2021 would have been a much better decision. The movie would have crossed a billion dollars easily.
That said, we still believe Tenet will get a re-release next year as Christopher Nolan and the team realises that box office numbers won't be up to the mark in 2020.
What do you think? Would you watch Tenet in 2020? Should it be released in 2021? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.