Warner Bros. CEO: ‘Tenet absolutely deserves to be seen in theatres’


Ann Sarnoff, CEO of Warner Bros., insists bosses at the studio had no plans to release Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster Tenet straight to premium video on demand (PVOD).

The highly anticipated time-twisting spy thriller is now playing in theatres worldwide and, despite rumors claiming that Nolan was controlling the studio’s decisions regarding the release of the film, Sarnoff insists there’s no truth in the speculation.

“It’s overstated. Let me share with you the process that we went through,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Right when Covid struck, we started looking at alternative ways to think about movie releases.”

Although they made the decision to debut some releases, such as the animated Scooby-Doo movie Scoob!, on home entertainment platforms, she insists they “started thinking about more innovative ways of releasing” Tenet.

“Theatres were very upfront about saying they could give us three to four times as many screens as normal,” she shares. “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.”

When asked if the studio ever considered putting the movie on demand, she says: “No. It is a remarkable, cinematic, beautiful film. It is so impactful. 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 theatres.”

Tenet, starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki, opened in 41 markets outside North America last weekend (August 28-30, 2020), scoring a strong post-coronavirus box office comeback with a $53 million theatrical launch. It opened in U.S. theatres this week.