Theaters playing "Tenet" must agree to pay Warner Bros. 63 percent of the gross amount and adhere to safety standards for wearing masks.
Advance ticket sales for Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" will begin this Friday, August 21, for a three-day preview beginning Monday, August 31.
Tickets for regular engagements starting on Thursday, September 3rd, will be available on Thursday, August 27th.
These are some of the Tenet contract details that Warner Bros. has sent to exhibitors and obtained from IndieWire. As IndieWire reported last week, limited screenings of “Tenet” will be offered three days before September 3rd. According to the contract, theaters can have one performance per night, at 5 p.m. at the earliest. The theaters shown in premium formats may have a second show.
In order to participate in Tenet, theaters must not only comply with local laws, but also comply with the as yet unpublished but already widespread safety standards drawn up by the National Association of Theater Owners. This includes wearing a face mask anywhere in a theater, with the exception of concessions.
The email states: “These special conditions are being offered to your exhibitor customers especially for & # 39; Tenet & # 39; offered to take into account the specific circumstances in the market … including the high commercial risk from uncertain consumer demand, reopening rules, health and safety regulations and social distancing capacity issues. "
As a sign of the times, the first section deals with health issues: “The exhibitor expressly represents and warrants to Warner that it will at all times comply with all applicable laws and regulations in its theaters, including all laws, without restriction, orders and standards relating to public health and Safety, such as rules and safeguards against the contraction and spread of COVID-19 or other diseases, and applicable voluntary health and safety measures and protocols in relation to these matters that may be published by the exhibition industry, such as the health published by NATO – and security protocols. "
In addition, Warners is advising theaters to provide on-demand information about theater reopening activities and consumer reports.
For film distribution, Warner Bros. charges 63 percent for all weeks of engagement. That's on the high end, and its inclusion is significant as it differs from some deals where top chains have pre-set expectations of how much they'll pay based on total gross domestic product. While what the studio demands can be negotiated, Warners has the upper hand. With top titles like this one, it's common for all theaters to get the same template.
The exhibitors could withdraw by 63 percent, a record high for film distributors. Warners is taking an empirical risk, however, as it is the first major studio to lead the return to theaters – especially if the pandemic means it can be seen at a box office well below that of "Tenet" below under normal circumstances, the number obtained may be. Just as Disney pushed "Mulan" into Disney +, Warners could certainly have done the same with PVOD and HBO Max. And they're performing at an incredibly important moment for the future of theater.
The requirements for the number of weeks to play are at the top end:
• "Tenet" must have the largest non-IMAX screen each week, unless otherwise agreed
• Single screens – 4 weeks, with a holdover number on the third weekend being decisive
• Twins – 5+ weeks
• 3 to 8 screens – 8 weeks
• 9+ screens – 12 weeks
As the only outstanding first release, it should be easy to meet these standards. For those rare single screens, four weeks on October 2nd would lead to “Wonder Woman 1984” (also Warner Bros.).
Warners also needs maximum theater marketing to make “Tenet” known at no additional cost to the studio. The studio also needs three trailers for upcoming Warner Bros. films before the "Tenet" feature.
Warners also plans to lease out films in a shorter period of time and is linking the collection with access to digital prints. Warners does not want exhibitors to use Tenet to pay other bills.
IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.
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