John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia’s parent company AT&T, has admitted that the studio’s decision to release Tenet into cinemas during the pandemic was not a success.
Stankey made the admission during an investor conference call on Wednesday, as reported by Deadline, remarking, “I can’t tell you we walked away from the Tenet experience saying it was a home run.” However, Stankey still insists that he was “happy” that Warner Bros released it.
Stankey and Warner Bros aren’t quite as happy about the future of cinema and movie theatres, though. In fact, Stankey even went as far as to say that he’s not at all “optimistic” about the potential box office returns for movies going into the start of 2021.
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As a result of this skepticism, Stankey says that Warner Bros are going to continue to “evaluate” all of their options going into the next few months.
“We’re not optimistic. We’re not ... expecting a huge recovery in theatrical moving into the early part of next year. We’re expecting it to continue to be choppy.”
Stankey’s remarks make it seem increasingly likely that Warner Bros will push the release of Wonder Woman 1984 back from its current release date of Christmas Day.
That way it has a much better chance of making more than Tenet. Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster has so far grossed just over £38 million ($50 million) at the US box office, and then around £256 million ($334 million) internationally.
Considering it cost at least £153 million ($200 million) to make, it’s widely believed that Tenet has so far lost Warner Bros around £76 million ($100 million).