- Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” has been delayed for a second time and will now be hitting theaters on August 12 as opposed to July 31.
- One day later, Disney’s “Mulan” was also moved from July 24 to August 21.
- The move comes as coronavirus cases across the country are beginning to rise and after New York, which has one of the country’s biggest moviegoing markets, announced it was delaying its plans to open theaters.
- Many theaters were planning their opening around the releases of “Tenet” and “Mulan,” hoping it would get people back in seats. Now theaters might have to rethink their strategies.
Hopes that there could be a last-minute save for the summer box office just got smaller as Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” pushed its release date back for a second time, moving from July 31 to August 12.
The $200 million Warner Brothers film was originally slated to come out on July 17 but was pushed back by two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. As cases continue to surge across the country, “Tenet” got another two-week bump.
“Warner Bros. is committed to bringing ‘Tenet’ to audiences in theaters, on the big screen, when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it’s time,” a Warner Brothers said in a statement. “In this moment what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release. We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.”
The John David Washington and Robert Pattinson led action thriller will be released on a Wednesday, as opposed to a usual Friday opening. Stakes for this film’s opening are high, as it is one of the first major studio movies to make its way to the big screen after the pandemic shut moviegoing down in March. Many movie theater chains have planned their openings around this film, hoping it will give them a much-needed boost.
Nolan has a strong track record at the box office. His last film, “Dunkirk,” released in July of 2017, brought in over $526 million at the global box office. His last two feature films before that, “Interstellar” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” brought in $677 million and $1 billion respectively.
Two of the nation’s largest theater chains, AMC and Cinemark, were set to open all of their locations in time for audiences to see “Tenet.” Theaters would operate with social distancing guidelines and under limited capacity. However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that movie theater openings in his state would be postponed. New York City is one the country’s largest moviegoing markets, and studios will be hesitant to release their titles without it. It is unclear if chains like AMC and Cinemark will be changing course.
Mulan Gets Bumped
Things took another turn for the worse for theaters when Disney’s “Mulan” also opted to delay its release on Friday, just one day after the announcement of the new date for “Tenet.” Theaters were also banking on the live action remake of the animated classic to tempt moviegoers. “Mulan” was originally supposed to come out in March but was pushed back to July 24, several months ago. Now, it will come out on August 21.
Now, “Mulan” will not be the first major movie to test the success of the new box office, and that pressure will fall on “Tenet.” Being the first major film to open during the pandemic is a tough position that no studio is thrilled to put their projects in. Each likely wants to see how other movies do before they take the risk themselves.
Because no massive blockbuster will be hitting the big screen until August, theater chains may have to fully reconsider their opening plans. The only new picture they would have to show is “Unhinged,” starring Russel Crowe, still set to release on July 10. While it is set to be the first movie to go to theaters, it is not as highly anticipated and is not expected to draw massive crowds like “Mulan” and “Tenet” could. It may not be worth the financial risk.
Other options that both “Tenet” and “Mulan” have are to go to streaming services, but that is highly unlikely. Nolan is a strong supporter of seeing films in theaters and will likely not budge. As for “Mulan,” Disney has made billions off the runs of their live-action remakes and will probably not want to take the loss of throwing it on Disney+ instead.
See what others are saying: (Wall Street Journal) (Variety) (IndieWire)
Note: This article was updated to reflect the new release date for “Mulan.”
Joe Rogan Fans Upset After Podcast Moves Exclusively To Spotify
- Some fans of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” said they would no longer be listening to the podcast after it officially became a Spotify exclusive this week.
- Rogan struck a $100 million deal to house his show exclusively on Spotify in May and has warned fans that this change was coming for months.
- Now that it has, many have said they dislike Spotify’s ad-supported free version or complained that it was not available in their country. Others were also frustrated that couldn’t use a VPN, among other concerns.
- Still, many believe Rogan’s podcast is unlikely to suffer as fans adjust.
Joe Rogan Moves To Spotify
Joe Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” officially became a Spotify exclusive on Tuesday.
Because of the change, Rogan’s December 1 episode featuring cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike was only uploaded only to Spotify, prompting a bit of frustration from fans.
Highlight clips of the episode were still uploaded to the PowerfulJRE YouTube channel. However, there is a message to listen to the full podcast on Spotify at the end of the clip and in the description.
It seems like some fans are not happy about the move because in the comment section of one highlight clip, many left their goodbye messages.
“It’s been a hell of a ride guys. See ya,” one user wrote.
“I’m not downloading Spotify so I guess no more Joe Rogan,” another said, while a different listener wrote, “RIP Joe Rogan Experience.”
Some also left comments about also not liking the free, ad-supported version of Spotify.
“Tried listening on Spotify. I can’t handle the 10 straight minutes of ads, and having Joe read them just makes me suddenly able to totally tune out everything he says without even trying to,” one person said.
“Sad times for me. Sad to say, I’m not switching to from YouTube premium to Spotify premium for one podcast.”
Others also noted that Spotify isn’t available in their country or that they can’t use a VPN.
Will This Hurt Rogan?
It will be interesting to see if this change actually costs Rogan listeners or if it will better for him in the long run.
It’s not like he’s been struggling since the slow transfer of his content started happening. Episodes of his podcast only began to appear on Spotify in September, and that was still enough to earn him the title of the platform’s top global podcast of the year.
Plus, this information about him moving exclusively to Spotify this month isn’t exactly new.
Fans have known this was going to happen for months now as part of that $100 million deal he struck with the company in May, so perhaps Rogan anticipated some of this backlash and an adjustment period. Either way, many feel like the outrage is unlikely to truly hurt the show’s success.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (Billboard) (The Hollywood Reporter)
U.K. Wants Netflix to Add ‘Fiction’ Label to “The Crown”
- The U.K. government is set to formally ask Netflix to attach a label to its series “The Crown” that clearly marks it as fiction.
- The government is concerned viewers may take the events as fact when the show is a historical drama.
- The request comes after Netflix released the fourth season of the show in mid-November, which covers Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister, the Falklands War, and the Royal family’s tumultuous relationship with Princess Diana.
- Netflix has attached other labels in the past when covering topics such as mental health, even when the depicted content is fictional.
- There are also concerns that show writer Peter Morgan has laid out events in a way that could push conspiracy theories, such as those around Princess Diana’s death.
The Crown Ruffles U.K. Feathers
The United Kingdom says it will formally ask Netflix to place a fiction label on its popular series “The Crown.”
The show’s fourth season released in mid-November and has already ruffled feathers in the U.K. In an interview with The Daily Mail on Sunday, U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed rumors that the government was seeking such a label.
“It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” he said.
“Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”
Many are concerned that scenes depicted by show writer Peter Morgan feed into conspiracy theories about the royal family. Those conspiracy theories largely circulate around Princess Diana, who was introduced in the show this season.
Princess Diana was a polarizing figure in the royal family. She married Prince Charles in 1981 and was seen as a “modernizing” figure for the royal family. She infamously died in a car crash that has spawned many conspiracy theories about who was responsible.
Even without the theories tying her death to the Royal family, her struggle with her royal in-laws never helped the family’s image.
Fact or Fiction?
A warning label on the show, even on season 4, isn’t completely unheard of. A few episodes delve into Diana’s struggle with bulimia and have health warnings clearly shown before those episodes.
“Those were difficult scenes to film and I also feel like taking her to that place was a good thing,” Emma Corrin, who portrays Princess Diana, told Variety over the weekend.
“It gave me somewhere to go with her, but I was exhausted a lot those days coming off set because at the same time as you’re playing someone who’s fictionalized and obviously you’re not feeling or thinking those things, it’s your job to make yourself feel that way,” she added.
There are also pushes to affix a fictional label to the show by members of Diana’s family. Her brother, the Earl Spencer, told ITV, “It would help The Crown [the show] an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode it stated that, ‘This isn’t true but is based around some real events’. Because then everyone would understand it’s drama for drama’s sake.”
Regarding the show’s fictionality, Corrin told talk show host Tamron Hall,“I think for everyone in “The Crown,” we always try and remind everyone that… the series we are in is fictionalized to a great extent.”
“Obviously it has its roots in reality and in some fact but Peter Morgan’s scripts are works of fiction.”
However, Morgan’s stance on fiction blurs the line a little. In the past, Morgan has defended his approach to the show, commenting, “You sometimes have to forsake accuracy, but you must never forsake truth.”
For critics, that thought process can lead to misrepresentations of what happened for the sake of a spun narrative. For example, in season 4 there’s a scene where Princess Diana is distressed and alone in her bedroom when Prince Philip, her father-in-law, approaches and asks what’s wrong.
She tells him she just wants to get away and he makes it clear that it won’t end well if she does. Diana replies, “I hope that isn’t a threat, Sir.”
Critics of the show claim this line is a way to foreshadow Diana’s death and a subtle nod to the theory that the Royals orchestrated her death.
In 1999, French police debunked that claim and put sole responsibility for the crash on her driver, who they claim was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Otherwise, the media and paparazzi are criticized for following her life so closely, particularly on the night of her death, prompting her driver to speed away dangerously.
Netflix has yet to make any comments about the U.K.’s looming request.
See What Others Are Saying: (Variety) (Radio Times) (Vulture)
South Korea Postpones BTS’ Mandatory Military Service for Two Years
- On Tuesday, South Korea’s Parliament approved a revision to the country’s Military Service Act, granting a two-year military conscription deferral for BTS’ oldest member, Jin.
- Jin turns 28 on Friday. Under normal requirements, all able-bodied South Korean men must join the country’s military by then, meaning Jin only had several days left to sign up.
- In fact, all seven BTS members will now be able to defer their military service period until the time they turn 30.
- The revision comes after a year-long debate over whether internationally successful male K-pop groups are influential enough to be granted tightly-regulated exemptions they normally would not be able to receive.
- BTS alone is estimated to account for $4.65 billion of South Korea’s Gross Domestic Product.
BTS Is Granted a Military Service Deferral
Kim Seok-jin, also known as Jin, is the oldest member of the global K-pop phenomenon BTS. On Friday, he’ll turn 28. While that news might not normally capture headlines, it coincided with his deadline to conscript in South Korea’s military — a prospect that held the potential to upheave the group’s ever-growing success.
On Tuesday, South Korea’s Parliament changed that deadline when it passed a revision to the country’s Military Service Act in a 270-2 vote. Now, top K-pop performers can postpone their conscription until they turn 30, meaning BTS will be able to remain fully intact for the next two years.
K-pop stars will only be eligible for the deferral if they have received government medals for helping to spread South Korea’s cultural influence internationally. Notably, all seven members of BTS have met that requirement because they all received such medals in 2018.
The legislation was introduced in South Korea’s parliament in September, shortly after BTS became the first K-pop group to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for “Dynamite.”
At the time, Representative Jeon Yong-gi argued that top pop stars — including BTS — should receive the deferral if they have raised the country’s national prestige.
Another lawmaker argued that BTS should be able to receive a full exemption. Currently, such exemptions are extremely rare, and only a few hundred have been handed out since 2008. Even then, they usually only go to classical musicians or athletes who’ve won medals in the Olympic or Asian Games. They’ve never been granted to any pop stars.
“There was a football player who was offered an exemption by playing for just four minutes at the 2014 London Olympics,” that lawmaker, Rep. Yoon Sang-hyun, wrote on social media, arguing that BTS’ success and economic effect outweighed that event.
BTS and the Debate Over Military Exemptions
The debate over a possible military exemption for BTS has been raging for more than a year now.
In September 2019, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said such an exemption was not possible.
In October of that same year, Noh Hyeong-ouk, the country’s Minister of Government Policy Coordination, said South Korea’s mandatory conscription system should reflect the current times.
“We need to review the need for an open-door policy regarding special exceptions from military service in the K-pop industry, in order to provide motives for Korea’s expansion as a cultural content powerhouse,” he argued.
That back and forth continued until November 2019 when the Ministry of National Defense seemed to put the speculation to rest by saying that BTS will still be required to conscript. Alongside that, it also imposed stricter rules on granting exemptions at all.
That decision was made, in part, because of a declining birthrate in South Korea. Currently, South Korea has about 600,000 active soldiers but by 2022, it projects that number will fall to 500,000. Over the next two decades, the ministry expects that number to shrink again by half. Low numbers like that could impede the country’s ability to continue imposing pressure on North Korea.
According to South Korean law, all able-bodied men must conscript in the country’s military by the time they turn 28. They must then serve at least 18 months or risk a number of repercussions, including being barred from international travel — a not so good prospect for a world-famous pop group.
On Monday, BTS made further history as their new single, “Life Goes On,” became the first Korean-language song to top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In 2019, The Hollywood Reporter estimated that BTS accounted for a jawdropping $4.65 billion of South Korea’s GDP.