Can TENET and MULAN Save the Summer Box Office?

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Can TENET and MULAN Save the Summer Box Office?

By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer

As Hollywood and theaters around the country wait for the green light to reopen, one lingering question remains…can the summer box office be saved?

The question, analyzed by The Hollywood Reporter, shows how it all comes down to two releases, Christopher Nolan’s TENET and Disney’s live-action remake MULAN (2020).

Nolan stood his ground firmly, not wanting to push the release of his latest movie, an espionage thriller, from July 17. For a while, it looked like the filmmaker would win the battle.

However, Warner Bros. and Nolan agreed to initially move the release back two weeks to July 31. And in fear of a resurgence of Covid-19, the duo decided to move once again to an August 12 release.

Warner Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said, “We are very proud of TENET and can’t wait for people to see it in theaters. However, we only want people to go to theaters when state and local officials say they can be safely reopened.”

To Nolan, releasing the movie isn’t about making money. It’s about being the first big studio release back in multiplexes around the country, as well as standing firm with theaters as he’s a believer in the theatrical experience.

As Warner Bros. continues to grapple with ever-changing dates, Disney could be in rocky water with the upcoming release of MULAN (2020).

Originally set to debut March 27, MULAN was first pushed to July 24 and has hopefully found its final release date on August 21.

“It’s never ideal to have to move a release date, especially multiple times, as some films have had to do in these past few months, but we’ll have to continue to do so until the situation is more stable,” said Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn.

“It may be painful at the moment, but health and safety is the priority right now, and eventually we’ll be on the other side of this.”

Even with moving the release date again due to health concerns, it could be argued that MULAN (2020) needs both the domestic and the international box office even more than TENET to succeed as the studio is relying on a big payday globally to turn a profit, Variety reports.

And as of now, most of the markets Hollywood relies on still aren’t fully operating. China, one country where MULAN (2020) hopes to have a huge release, is one of them.

Last year, the summer movie season, which runs from May to Labor Day, accounted for over $4 billion in the total $11.4 billion in box office revenue. This year the harsh reality is, no movies could hit the big screen in that allotted time.

The real question becomes, how much money can the box office bring in in the weeks leading up to Labor Day?

If the two movies are pushed again, The Hollywood Reporter says that moviegoers could be in for a treat as the fall and winter movie slate is heating up.

Delayed titles set for release are A QUIET PLACE PART II (Sept. 4), WONDER WOMAN 1984 (Oct. 2), BLACK WIDOW (Nov. 6), NO TIME TO DIE (Nov. 20) and TOP GUN: MAVERICK (Dec. 23).

According to the Hollywood Reporter, analysts say 2021 is also shaping up to be a record-breaking year with titles like GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE, JUNGLE CRUISE, MINIONS THE RISE OF GRU, and F9 all finding homes on the big screen a year later than planned.

Though Movieguide® can’t comment on the acceptability or the quality of any of these movies yet we’re always hopeful that movies will extol positive, Christian content.