Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the big-budget time-bending thriller that arrived during the pandemic to lackluster domestic box office numbers, is scheduled for a home release on December 15th, Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Thursday.
The film arrived in theaters starting in August after multiple delays and after Warner Bros. decided not to pish the release to next year, as many other studios have done. Tenet so far has grossed $350 million worldwide, but Nolan and Warner Bros. were hoping for a much better showing for a film with a budget exceeding $200 million.
Tenet struggled at the box office due to pandemic-induced theater closures
Much of the poor performance of Tenet is attributed not to its quality — critics generally like it, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 71 percent — but to COVID-19 and theater closures. Theatergoers have either feared the risk of seeing the film in a crowded indoor environment, or live in a part of the US or overseas where theaters were not allowed to open. The film has grossed just $53.8 million in the US.
Now, after months of struggling to turn the film from a flop into a financial success, Warner Bros. has decided to take the video-on-demand and home release route, a smart move critics have been arguing in favor of for months now. Both digital and physical retailers starting November 10th, with the digital version costing $19.99.
Warner Bros. released a price breakdown for the physical edition:
4K UHD combo pack — $44.95 Blu-ray — $35.99 DVD — $28.98
Warner Bros. does happen to be owned by WarnerMedia, the AT&T division that also owns HBO and its newly released HBO Max streaming platform. That means we could see Tenet arrive on HBO Max at some point in the future. But AT&T isn’t disclosing when, and it’s likely to try and recoup some costs by selling physical and digital copies first. Warner Bros. declined to comment on the release window for Tenet coming to HBO Max.
Update November 5th, 3:28PM ET: Added Warner Bros.’s digital version pricing for Tenet.