China requires all movies in theaters to limit movie run time to max 2 hours – Tenet needs to cut 30+ minutes

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet just hit another roadblock in China’s movie theaters: maximum run time length of two hours.

As if there weren’t enough issues complicating theatrical releases, China has announced a new barrier. While it’s allowing theaters to reopen as of July 20, that permission comes with a caveat: To limit the length of time audiences spend in auditoriums, all titles must run two hours or less.

‘Tenet’ Faces a New Challenge: China Says It’s Too Long to Play | IndieWire

Actually, I like this safety requirement. I like this for the majority of movies even without COVID-19.

As a general rule, I’ve felt most movies I’m seeing are too long. Sure, I’ve enjoyed movies that were longer than two hours, but prefer that movies look at 90 minutes as a target and if they go over, they have 30 extra minutes of buffer. The vast majority of films have stories that can be told effectively in two hours or less.

At the same time, artificial limits for films can limit a story that truly can’t be told in that amount of run time. If the story goes too long, just go the Kill Bill route and split the films up into two distinct parts and separate films. If it’s really long, then go the series route. There are any number of streaming channels that would welcome a good miniseries. If the story can be expanded beyond 8 hours, start considering it to be a TV series broken by seasons.

Films started out being around an hour in length, but that was 100 years ago. As time has gone on, movies have gotten longer and more bladder challenging. Some so long that sites like RunPee (see: Need A Bathroom Break During the Movie? Runpee to the rescue) have become necessary tools.

Back to Tenet.

What should they do to get down to two hours? A China-specific edit (The Tenet China Cut) is likely the most logical answer. Or they can skip China, but that’s a huge market they can’t really afford budget-wise to ignore. The film is about 30 minutes over, so Nolan and his editor needs to get cutting.

What do you think of this COVID-19 requirement in China? Would you like to see it imposed in the United States? I wouldn’t mind, would you?

Tenet Delayed Again to August 12 – Summer Movie Theater Viewing Slipping Away


You’ve probably heard there’s been a spike in new COVID-19 cases and Warner Bros. is saying goodbye to July for Tenet and pushing it back — again — this time to August 12, 2020.

The article linked and quoted below is claiming their “sources” are saying Disney will be announcing delaying Mulan, too, currently scheduled for July 24, to be pushed back further. If indeed that happens, there will only be two wide releases planned to open in theaters in July.

No movie dates can be considered guaranteed even not in our current times, but you might as well write all movie dates in pencil and have a giant eraser handy.

Warner Bros. announced the shift on Thursday amid rapidly changing and unexpected circumstances. 

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Delays Release to Mid-August Amid Spike in COVID-19 Cases

The summer is a busy time for theaters traditionally. A great time to get out of the heat and into air-conditioned theaters. July 10, our Regal Cinemas have committed to reopening (see: July 10 Cineworld Regal Cinemas to reopen all theaters – Update On Unlimited Pass Subscription), which barring our own unexpected circumstances, we intend to fully support. I heard they’re planning to show some classic movies like Jurassic Park. Yes, I’ll pay to rewatch that movie in the theater in 2020. Or, rather, since our Unlimited Pass will be available for use until we get billed again in August, we’ll get in for the awesome price of $0. We miss the big screen experience, the popcorn, the comfy recliner seats …

If the theater chains don’t change their mind based on this news, anyway. Hope not, but every day this pandemic seems to rain more bad news of some sort down upon us.

Do I think the theaters should delay reopening? If it’s unsafe in their area to do so, then yes, of course. What I don’t want to see is theaters closed and casinos open. I can’t believe a movie theater is higher risk than a casino, can you?

Don’t ask for logic in these times.

Tenet Delayed 2 Weeks, Wonder Woman pushed back to October 2

Call it coronavirus cold feet, a wise business decision or (insert emotion), but the studios have now pushed back both Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984.

The Warner Bros. film, which stars Robert Pattinson and John David Washington, was initially slated for July 17 and will now debut in cinemas on July 31. On the date that “Tenet” was expected to open, theaters will re-release one of Nolan’s biggest hits, “Inception,” in honor of its 10th anniversary. Warner Bros. also postponed “Wonder Woman 1984” nearly two months, from Aug. 14 to Oct. 2

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Release Delayed – Variety

Warner Bros. made four other movie date changes:

  • Witches is dropped from October 9, 2020 to TBA
  • Godzilla vs. Kong will be delayed again from November 20, 2020 to May 21, 2021
  • Tom & Jerry delayed from December 23, 2020 to March 3, 2021
  • The untitled Matrix movie delayed from May 21, 2021 to April 4, 2022
The original WW1984 box art
showing June 5, 2020 release
should now read Oct 2, 2020

The major three movie theater chains were all planning to reopen in July. This leaves Disney’s Mulan at July 24 as the first major new wide release title to test the reopening waters.

Technically, there is another wide release icebreaker on July 1: Unhinged. Every day that’s looking more likely to be pushed back also depending on movie theater openings. Some independent theaters are opening and what few drive-ins remains are doing business.

Time for movie theaters to reopen, yes or no?

Throughout this pandemic I’ve said the big 3 theater chains need to get open as soon as it’s safe to do so. As long as they stay closed and don’t get back to some revised social distancing version of their prior business, studio feet will grow even colder.

Today, I went to the beach and saw people everywhere. Casinos in Washington State where we live have people everywhere. Heck, part of downtown Seattle has been annexed by protesters taking over a police precinct and showing movies in the street, not to mention concerts. People, everywhere.

Everywhere, everywhere.

People are socializing and ready for movie theaters in at least some areas of the country. I mean, if they can go and gamble and be as close as a slot machine away, why can’t they go to a movie theater and be 3-4 seats away?

If, however, the big three theaters don’t reopen soon, we will definitely see even more titles pushed back and this could spell the end to summer 2020 movies in theaters. We’ve already lost spring in 2020.

This means Wonder Woman 1984 is now a fall release, skipping the normally very busy summer months. Tenet’s move isn’t too dramatic at only two weeks to July 31 and following Mulan, but will Disney not want to the first to dip a toe in the new movie theater waters? Flip a coin? Maybe the odds aren’t even that good.

We seem to be at an impasse of sorts. What do you think, should movie theaters reopen ASAP? Or should they wait literally until a week or two before Mulan (mid July)?


Maybe, a delay is coming for Tenet. Or so rumors are suggesting…

It’s the first big budget ($200 million) major movie release scheduled optimistically in July for theaters to be reopened, only now according to a writer at Collider, he’s heard rumors (somebody queue the Fleetwood Mac cover) that WB is planning on delaying that date further.

For what it’s worth, I’ve heard Tenet will, in fact, be delayed, and that Warner Bros. is just trying to find a new date, which is hard since the calendar is jam-packed with big movies. That’s why there was no date on the most recent trailer. But how many films could possibly be bigger than a new Nolan movie? Tenet could always swap places with WW84, or possibly Dune, which is slated to open in December — just three days before Tom Cruise‘s Top Gun sequel.

Can Tenet’s Release Date Hold? 90% of Theaters Expected to Open by July | Collider

Important to restate this is just a rumor at this point.

Could one movie delay — after so many (see: Those Polled Say Temp Taken and More Hand Sanitizer Make Them More Likely To Revisit Movie Theater) — be this big a deal? Possibly, considering it’s a movie that is being at least semi-propped up as a return to movie theater motivation for moviegoers. Honestly, I’m looking much more forward to Wonder Woman 1984 (FIRST LOOK). That is scheduled about two months from this post.


Directed, written and produced by Christopher Nolan, so we should have some idea what kind of film to expect (action, entertainment, excitement). Dig the playful title which is the the word “ten” forward and reverse.

Are you looking forward to watching Tenet? Or is there another movie coming out later this year (hopefully not delayed) that you’re looking forward to seeing in the theater? Let us know in the comments.

Tenet is scheduled to open — if there is no announced delay — wide in theaters — if theaters are reopened on July 17, 2020.