AT&T CEO John Stankey Is 'Not Optimistic' About Theatrical Recovery in Early 2021

And he admits “Tenet” was no “home run”

Warner Bros.

AT&T CEO John Stankey knows the “Tenet” theatrical release was not a “home run,” and furthermore, he is “not optimistic” about a box office recovery in early 2021.

Good morning to you, too.

“We’ve done some experimentation, we tried a few things. I can’t tell you that we walked about from the ‘Tenet’ experience saying it was a home run,” Stankey said Thursday morning on a conference call tied to AT&T’s Q3 earnings release. “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.”

“We’re expecting this to be incredibly choppy moving into next year,” he added on the subject of Warner Bros. box office. “We’re not optimistic. We’re not…expecting a huge recovery in theatrical moving into the early part of next year. We’re expecting it to continue to be choppy. And as a result of that, we’re having to evaluate all of our options and keep them open.”

Over the next “month or two,” Stankey says he will better know what option(s) they’re going to pull the trigger on. Hey, there’s always HBO Max!

Read about AT&T’s third-quarter 2020 financial performance here.

“Tenet,” which could have been even further delayed (or gone to WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max), has made just north of $50 million at the U.S. box office, with a $20 million four-day opening weekend. Internationally, the Warner Bros. movie has made $283 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki, the Sept. 3, 2020 release was written and directed by Christopher Nolan.

Here is the logline: Armed with only one word, “Tenet,” and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

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