It is quite possible that Tenet, the new science-fiction thriller from Christopher Nolan, may not be screened in theaters in China, simply because its runtime is too long according to the country’s new coronavirus regulations.
As currently listed in IMDb, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has an official runtime of two hours and 30 minutes, which is pretty much typical for a Nolan film.
Unfortunately for the director and his latest movie, the China Film Administration (CFA) has declared that when it begins to open its theaters this coming July 20, any movie that will be shown must not exceed a couple of hours in length, per Variety.
Tenet’s troubles continue
The CFA’s decision to introduce new COVID-19 safety protocols for reopening Chinese theaters counts as the latest hurdle that Tenet must overcome before it gets released.
One of the most highly-anticipated movies this year, Nolan’s new science-fiction mind-bender has had to deal with its release schedule going through a lot of changes, mainly because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Right now, the current release date for the movie is August 12, and the entire movie industry is hoping that Tenet’s release might be the catalyst that sparks a revival in the industry, which has been hit pretty hard by the global health crisis.
While it is true that China is only one international movie market, it happens to be a big one.
Nolan should know—his past films have been boosted by the attention Chinese moviegoers have been giving in the last few years.
As noted by IndieWire, the director’s previous three movies have earned between eight percent to 18% of their total global grosses in China.
2014’s Interstellar was a particularly big hit in China, earning US$122 million of its $668 million worldwide gross from the Chinese market.
For the record, there’s no release date for Tenet yet in China. So there is a chance that by the time the movie gets its Chinese release date, the CFA’s two-hour rule could be lifted.
It is also possible that Warner Bros, the studio that distributes the film, might adjust the movie’s runtime to less than 120 minutes.
But it is doubtful that Nolan will like the idea of having this latest film trimmed for the sake of complying with the two-hour rule.
Tenet features an all-star cast that includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Dimple Kapadia, and Clemence Poesy. As mentioned earlier, the movie is scheduled for theatrical release in the United States on August 12.