March 27th, 2021 / 0 comments


IndieWire Explain Why There is No #Tenet Oscar Campaign

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IndieWire have provided an explanation on why there is no Tenet campaign and as they explain we don’t have to look further than Christopher Nolan. Below is an excerpt, but you can read the full article by clicking on the link:

“Tenet,”…has two Oscar nominations for VFX and Production Design. It received one Golden Globe nomination (composer Ludwig Goransson); five Critics Choice craft nominations; sound editing, VFX and production design guild nominations; and one BAFTA nod, for Special Visual Effects. It has not won any to date.

Last summer, as all studios delayed their big-budget releases, Warners was ready to wait on “Tenet.” Nolan was not. Driven by a fervor to release his baby and/or single-handedly save movie theaters, he campaigned the studio to release the film and made his own statements that positioned his glossy puzzle box as the make-or-break movie of the pandemic.

This wasn’t Warners’ game plan. According to sources, the studio tried to calculate ideal theatrical release timing that would yield the most return on its investment. Distribution executives measured pandemic case rates against possible theater openings. This turned out to be a zero-sum game, but studio executives are also known to christen those gifted filmmakers who have global-brand bonafides as the smartest people in the room.

“Tenet” scored strong overseas numbers, but middling reviews (Metascore: 69). Limited access to theater seats over the next six months led to disappointing box office ($363.3 million worldwide so far). As theaters reopened around the country last weekend, the movie sold out on some New York and Los Angeles screens (playing to 25 percent capacity), just in time to play for vaccinated Academy voters.

It’s too late for that. Back in November, a bruised Nolan told Warners to put money on extending its release, not an Oscar campaign. Warners put its “Tenet” money into theaters where possible and published a Blu-ray as well as HD DVDs. Warners did not mail screeners to Academy members, did not plunk down $12,500 to upload the film on the Academy portal, placed no FYC ads, and mounted no digital screenings or Q&As.

After “Tenet” received its two nominations March 15, Academy voters who clicked on the screening portal for links to the film saw that “Tenet” was “unavailable.” That meant any Oscar voter would have to find a DVD or a theater playing the film, which reaches HBO Max May 1 — six days after the Oscars ceremony April 25. It also means that Nolan’s Oscar campaign ban was depriving his own top-tier craftspeople of career-buttressing support. A 69 Metascore is more than respectable; Oscar-winner “Bohemian Rhapsody” scored 49. “Tenet” should have easily scored five or six nods.

Nolan finally relented; “Tenet” will be uploaded to the Academy portal March 29. “While we actively chose not to campaign the film,” said one Warners source, “at the filmmaker’s request, we will be supporting the nominations by putting the film on the AMPAS platform and passing members through the theaters.”

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