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Why Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Represents a Big Piracy Risk Around the World

Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic “Tenet” is charting a new course for blockbusters during the pandemic by opening in foreign territories before it lands in the U.S.

However, many of the factors that make “Tenet” the milestone film in the cinema industry’s post-coronavirus road to recovery are simultaneously elements that expose it to piracy. That runs the risk that a thriller that thrives on keeping its twists under wraps will have its secrets exposed before domestic audiences have a chance to watch it.

More from Variety

“In some ways ‘Tenet’ is a perfect storm for piracy, in that it has raised expectations, both about the film itself and the cinema experience,” one anti-piracy veteran said, speaking to Variety on condition of anonymity. “Also, it has limited availability and suffers from a staggered release.”

The film’s uneven worldwide release pattern — launching in some international territories on Aug. 26 before coming to

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  • August 17, 2020
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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Lands September Debut in China

Chinese moviegoers are set for a Christopher Nolan bonanza on the big screen: his sci-fi epic “Tenet” will launch in Chinese theaters on Sept. 4, a week after an Aug. 28 re-release of “Inception.”

Meanwhile, the theatrical re-run of his 2014 “Interstellar” is blasting past competition at box office as the top film nationwide since it hit cinemas on Sunday, Aug. 2, bringing in $7.6 million so far in just five off days.

More from Variety

Three other major U.S. titles also announced China release dates Thursday. Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of “Little Women” will launch on Aug. 25. Disney and Pixar’s animated fantasy adventure “Onward” is now slated for Aug. 19, while Universal and Dreamworks’ family film “Trolls World Tour” is set for Aug. 21.

Neither of the latter had strong theatrical release elsewhere due to COVID, meaning that their China run will likely be their most significant globally. “Trolls”

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