Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

Box Office: ‘Tenet’ Hits Tepid $29.5M in U.S. But Crosses $200M Globally

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is struggling in North America — where moviegoing remains off limits in Los Angeles and New York City  — but continues to impress overseas for an estimated global gross of $207 million through Sunday.

Over the weekend, the pic earned an estimated $6.7 million domestically from 2,901 cinemas for a cume of $29.5 million. The studio said it’s a promising sign that Tenet dropped just 29 percent from the $9.4 million earned during the Sept. 4-6 weekend. However, it isn’t an apples to apples comparison since Tenet unfurled over the long Labor Day corridor. Also, Tenet is now playing in 100 more theaters.

The tentpole is doing especially well on premium format screens. Imax locations alone have generated $23 million in ticket sales.

In an unprecedented move, Warner Bros. has been shielding domestic grosses from public view by blocking anyone from seeing Tenet‘s weekday and weekend numbers on Comscore, a receptacle for real-time grosses provided by cinemas. Sources say Warners wants to control the narrative, versus having rival studios weigh in.

Warners is reporting grosses normally for international markets, which are well ahead of the U.S. in terms of cinema reopenings. Tenet has now grossed $177.5 million offshore — including another $30.6 million this weekend —  for a global total of $207 million through Sunday. It isn’t unusual for Nolan’s movies to make far more offshore.

China leads all territories with a cume of $50.8 million. Tenet ceded the No. 1 spot over the weekend to Disney’s tentpole Mulan, which opened well behind expectations in the Middle Kingdom with $23.2 million. (The live-action adventure has gone straight to premium VOD in the U.S. and some Western European countries.) Mulan‘s foreign theatrical cume is $37.6 million.

Warners has always said that Tenet will be a marathon versus a sprint amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, indoor cinemas in New Jersey and Orange County began reopening in earnest. It was a major boost, considering cinemas in both areas are close to L.A. and New York City, where Nolan’s films play best. Tenet‘s two top-grossing theaters this weekend were in Orange County, followed by a location in Northern Virginia, a Los Angeles drive-in and a theater in New Jersey.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy: Warner Bros.

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