Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff reveals why Tenet won’t arrive on VOD amid COVID-19 – Daily Mail

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Warner Bros. brings its highly-anticipated thriller Tenet to theaters across the country this weekend, with CEO Ann Sarnoff revealing why they held out for a theatrical release.

While many studios have opted to put their films on streaming services since major markets like Los Angeles and New York are still closed due to COVID-19, Sarnoff told The Hollywood Reporter that they had never considered releasing it on VOD. 

Simply put, Sarnoff revealed in the interview that Tenet is a ‘remarkable cinematic achievement’ that is ‘so impactful.

Only in theaters: Warner Bros. brings its highly-anticipated thriller Tenet to theaters across the country this weekend, with CEO Ann Sarnoff revealing why they held out for a theatrical release

Only in theaters: Warner Bros. brings its highly-anticipated thriller Tenet to theaters across the country this weekend, with CEO Ann Sarnoff revealing why they held out for a theatrical release

It is a movie meant for the big screen. I’m very proud of our approach. A lot of people are pushing stuff into next year. Tenet absolutely deserves to be seen in theaters,’ Sarnoff said.

Tenet, the latest film from writer-director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Dunkirk), was originally slated for release on July 17, though it was shifted in March due to COVID-19.

While many studios shunted their films to their parent companies streaming services – including Warner Bros., which released Scoob! on VOD and later on HBO Max – Tenet was always one of the few films that seemingly demanded a theatrical release.

Big screen: It is a movie meant for the big screen. I¿m very proud of our approach. A lot of people are pushing stuff into next year. Tenet absolutely deserves to be seen in theaters,' Sarnoff said

Big screen: It is a movie meant for the big screen. I’m very proud of our approach. A lot of people are pushing stuff into next year. Tenet absolutely deserves to be seen in theaters,’ Sarnoff said

The date was pushed to July 31 and then August 12 before it was decided that the studio would release Tenet in foreign markets starting August 26 before the September 3 domestic release.

There were rumors that Nolan had demanded a theatrical release and that he was ‘controlling’ the narrative around the movie’s release, though Sarnoff said that notion is, ‘overstated.’

‘As the summer unfolded, we started thinking about more innovative ways of releasing the movie. What if we didn’t put everything up front toward the opening weekend?’ she said.

Pushed: The date was pushed to July 31 and then August 12 before it was decided that the studio would release Tenet in foreign markets starting August 26 before the September 3 domestic release.

Pushed: The date was pushed to July 31 and then August 12 before it was decided that the studio would release Tenet in foreign markets starting August 26 before the September 3 domestic release.

‘Theaters were very upfront about saying they could give us three to four times as many screens as normal. So that started to change our thinking. We are happy with where we are. Some markets still aren’t open, but it is a marathon and not a sprint,’ she added.

She also said that, regarding Scoob!, that film was released on premium video on demand (PVOD) because it made more sense for their target audience.

‘Families were sequestered together and wanted more content. We are very happy with the results. A few weeks later it debuted on HBO Max, where we were very happy with the results as well,’ she said.

Target: She also said that, regarding Scoob!, that film was released on premium video on demand (PVOD) because it made more sense for their target audience

Target: She also said that, regarding Scoob!, that film was released on premium video on demand (PVOD) because it made more sense for their target audience

Sarnoff was also asked about Disney’s strategy of releasing Mulan in both theaters and PVOD, which raised some eyebrows.

‘I don’t completely understand Disney’s strategy, but they are releasing Mulan internationally in some theaters,’ she said.

‘I’m rooting for anybody who is getting a movie out. Fans are anxious for new content,’ Sarnoff added. 

Tenet overperformed at the international box office during its foreign debut last week, pulling in an impressive $53 million in select markets.

Mulan: Sarnoff was also asked about Disney's strategy of releasing Mulan in both theaters and PVOD, which raised some eyebrows

Mulan: Sarnoff was also asked about Disney’s strategy of releasing Mulan in both theaters and PVOD, which raised some eyebrows 

International: Tenet overperformed at the international box office during its foreign debut last week, pulling in an impressive $53 million in select markets

International: Tenet overperformed at the international box office during its foreign debut last week, pulling in an impressive $53 million in select markets

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