The news is true: Tenet is here. After months of speculation in the press, light mockery on social media and a few release-date changes, the latest blockbuster brain-teaser from director Christopher Nolan-originally scheduled for release on July 17, 2020 before the coronavirus upended the summer movie schedule-isn’t just a poster, a trailer, or a topic of endless debate anymore. It’s a real movie that you can watch in some theaters across the United States and, as of December 15, in the privacy of your own home.
In the past few months, the Tom Cruise-endorsed time-travel thriller served as a massive trial balloon for a mode of entertainment that’s financially flatlined due to ongoing pandemic protocols. (The movie has made more than $300 million worldwide, but struggled in the U.S. with only $57 million at the domestic box office. It’s too early to gauge how many people will pay $20 to own a digital copy of the movie.) Besides those big-picture concerns, there are simpler matters you might have questions about as you navigate this odd historical moment. We’ve got you covered.
Is Tenet available on VOD?
Yes! On December 15, after months of waiting, Tenet arrived on digital for the price of $19.99. (It’s also available to purchase DVD and Blu-ray.) The movie is currently available to both purchase and rent on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay, and other platforms. If you purchase the movie now, you will own it on that platform and are free to watch it how ever many times you choose, which might be ideal for figuring out the plot. Rentals are typically offered at the price of $5.99 and expire after 48 hours.
Is Tenet available on HBO Max, Netflix, or another streaming service?
No, Tenet is not currently available on any of the subscription-based streaming services. The movie was released by Warner Bros., so Tenet will most likely find its way to HBO Max at some point in the near future. But there has not been an official release date announced yet.
In early December, Warner Bros. announced that all of the movies on its 2021 slate-including titles like Dune, The Suicide Squad, and The Matrix 4-will premiere on HBO Max on the same day they debut in theaters. It’s a path that some thought Tenet might take before it was released in theaters.
Christopher Nolan is not a fan of that approach, pandemic be damned, and he’s also not a fan of HBO Max. “Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service,” said the director in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. It’s unclear when Tenet will be available on HBO Max, but don’t expect to see Nolan’s next project premiering on the service.
Where is Tenet currently playing in the United States?
It’s easiest to start with where Tenet will not be playing. As of December 10,Tenet isn’t permitted to be shown in New York City or in Los Angeles, two of the biggest moviegoing markets in the country. With COVID cases again rising across the country, some cities and states that previously opened their theaters earlier in the year have closed them again. You can check this site for a more detailed, up-to-date rundown of where the film is screening.
In October, two states — North Carolina and Washington — reopened theaters after keeping them closed well into September. In Washington, Yahoo reported that AMC and Cinemark announced theater openings across the state, but Regal theater chains, which are owned Cineworld, will remain closed. Cineworld suspended operations in 536 Regal theaters on October 8 after it was announced No Time to Die, the latest James Bond movie, was being delayed.
On October 17, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters outside of New York City could reopen at “25 percent capacity under state guidance starting October 23.” (This included 11 Regal Cinemas locations in the state.) There’s still no public indication of when theaters will reopen in New York City.
The debate about reopening theaters in New York has grown heated. On October 14, the Global Cinema Federation, a worldwide organization of theater operators, published an open letter pleading with Cuomo to reopen theaters, arguing that many theater companies may not survive if action is not taken. The letter was signed by leaders from AMC, Cinemark, Cineplex and Cineworld. They also suggested New York adapt a plan similar to the one in Los Angeles, which allows for theaters to reopen on a “county-by-county basis according to virus data.”
Theaters remain closed in Los Angeles, but Tenet is now available in drive-in theaters in L.A., where it was previously not an option. (More on that head-scratching choice below.) Back in September, The Los Angeles Times published a detailed run-down of the situation in California, where restrictions in areas like Orange County and Marin County began to be lifted. As with most things relating to the coronavirus, the conditions could change as the number of cases rise or fall.
Can you see Tenet at drive-in movie theaters?
This is a question with a complicated answer. With traditional movie theaters closed all summer, drive-in movie theaters have seen a revival in recent months. So, it would make sense for Tenet to be playing at drive-in theaters across the country, right? On August 24, Varietyreported that Tenet will be screening at some drive in theaters. But it will not be screening in drive-in theaters located in markets like New York and Los Angeles, where the film will not be also available in a traditional theater setting.
What’s the logic here? The Variety article claims that movie exhibitors were told the decision was made “in order to help preserve the twists and turns of the plot, which has been shrouded in secrecy.” That explanation is ridiculous, since the movie has been showing overseas for weeks already, and the internet has no end of spoilers. But, sure it’s certainly possible. As Indiewire speculates, it’s also possible that Nolan himself is not a fan of the drive-in format or that it’s part of an effort by Warner Bros. to put more pressure on cities to reopen their theaters. Like with all things Tenet, it’s perhaps best to embrace the mystery.
Can you rent a movie theater to watch Tenet?
Yes, it’s possible. As movie fans grapple with the challenges of staying safe and going to watch Tenet, this could emerge as a popular (but expensive) option. Obviously, you could spend a large amount of money buying up all the seats for a particular screening at a movie theater near or, if you live in a state with restrictions, even not-so-near to you, but some chains do offer special pricing packages for anyone looking to host a group screening in a more controllably socially distanced environment. For example, Cinemark is currently offering a “Private Watch Party” option that’s priced between $99 and $175. Even if your group is a single person (you), this might be the least problematic option, or at least the one that, without any actual scientific evidence being available, you might think is the least problematic option, if you absolutely find yourself needing to see a movie in a theater during a global pandemic that is still raging in the United States and has caused the deaths of more than 186,000 Americans so far.
Can you see Tenet in IMAX?
The point of Tenet is that it’s big, loud, and pulverizing. So, if you are someone who has decided that they absolutely can’t not see Tenet in theater, you might want to see it in the format that will emphasize those aspects of the movie. Indiewire has a helpful list of every IMAX location, along with a much shorter list of theaters where you can see the movie on 70 mm.
Should you go see Tenet in a theater?
As with most questions relating to the pandemic, there’s no easy answer here, as it likely depends on where you live, what your tolerance is for potentially catching an infectious disease that could kill you, or how receptive you are to the advice of pandemic experts. Your best bet is to read as much as you can before making a decision, follow the suggested protocols, and consider the potential health risks involved. The big theater chains have announced a shared program, dubbed CinemaSafe, that outlines all the changes they’ve made to create a safer environment in theaters, including rules about mask and theater capacity. But is it enough? Luckily, many news outlets have published stories that can help you figure out what you want to do.
Vulture has an informative interview with Dr. Robert Lahita, chairman of medicine at St. Joseph’s Health in New Jersey, that digs into multiple tricky questions about theater safety. He emphasizes wearing a mask, keeping social distance, washing your hands, and refraining from eating until you’re in the theater. “Nothing is 100 percent safe,” he says toward the end of the interview, a sentiment that you’ll find repeated in other stories about the topic.Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.