The Tenet experiment wasn’t the success that Warner Bros was hoping for, its parent company has now conceded.

Whilst pretty much every major movie studio abandoned cinemas when they reopened over the summer, the one who was willing to gamble on a huge release was Warner Bros. The company had pumped around $200m into the making of Christopher Nolan’s new movie Tenet, and started rolling it out in August.

Unfortunately, whilst the movie’s actually been quite a success in the UK, that hasn’t been reflected in most places around the world. The current gross for the picture is $341m worldwide.

That’s an astonishing achievement in current circumstances, and the film continues to play in the absence of other new blockbusters. But still, it’s notably down on what Warner Bros would have wanted.

John Stankey is the CEO of AT&T, that owns Warner Bros, and he gave an update to shareholders last week on how things were going. Specifically when it came to Tenet, he said that “I can’t tell you we walked away from the Tenet experience saying it was a home run”.

Not that he’s necessarily mournful about that. “I’m happy we did it. I think the team was incredibly creative. I think we learned a few things about what we can do”, he added. But he also cautioned that he’s “not optimistic” cinemas will be turning around anytime soon.

Warner Bros remains committed to releasing films in cinemas, though. The next big one? It’s currently scheduled to be the twice-delayed Wonder Woman 84, that lands at Christmas. More as we hear it…

Deadline

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