Home 2020 Box Office: ‘Tenet’ Debuts to $20.2-M as US Theaters Reopen

Box Office: ‘Tenet’ Debuts to $20.2-M as US Theaters Reopen


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In a Key moment for the hammered box office, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet launched in North America with $20.2-M over the long Labor Day weekend as more US cinemas reopened after being shut for nearly six months due to the coronavirus chaos.

In pre-chaos times, a domestic start of $20.2-M would be cause for high anxiety. But considering current circumstances Tenet was expected to come in well below Mr. Nolan’s more recent films. It scored the Top gross domestically of any film that has rolled out since theaters reopened.

Chief box office analyst Shawn Robbins of Boxoffice Pro said “Having the film open is already a major symbolic success, while the financial bottom lines can’t be objectively assessed until we have a better idea of how the global recovery is tracking weeks, or even months, down the line.”

The outlook is brighter overseas where many countries have been able to reopen more quickly than the US.

Internationally, Tenet has earned $126-M through its 1st 2 weekends for an early global total of $146.2-M

Warners believes Tenet will have a longer run in theaters than is usually the case, Vs boasting a mega-opening weekend.  Most analysts agree, saying the film has a shot at earning $500-M worldwide. If it does not, it will likely lose money.

Mr. Nolan’s film is the 1st Hollywood tentpole to brave debuting on the big screen in the C-19 era.

Releasing a big-budget title at the present moment is a huge gamble for Warners, considering Tenet‘s $200-M production budget before marketing. Among other challenges, Los Angeles and New York City are still off-limits.

Tenet, starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh, received a B CinemaScore.

The movie did big business in Imax theaters, where Tenet earned $11.1-M from 43 markets, or 14.2% of the total weekend box office.

Warners and Nolan, a noted champion of the cinematic experience wanted to provide theater owners with a high-profile title upon reopening.


Tenet was originally set to roll out in mid-July before being delayed several times. Most Hollywood studios have abandoned the Fall corridor in terms of their big-budget fare.

Disney, for example, pulled Mulan from its theatrical release in the US and select markets, opting instead for a Labor Day premium release on Disney+. Mulan earned a strong $5.9-M from a handful of Asian territories and posted the highest-grossing weekend to date in both Singapore and Thailand.

In its 2nd frame, 20th Century and Disney’s The New Mutants is estimating a four-day Labor gross of $3.5-M for an 11-day domestic total of  $12.3-M through Monday. Overseas, it took in $4.2-M from a several of markets.

Solstice Studios road-rage thriller Unhinged is estimating a 4-day gross of $1.7-M for a domestic tally of $11.3-M to date. The indie road-rage thriller, starring Russell Crowe, opened 3 weekends ago and was the 1st new wide release to get a big-screen release in the US as cinemas began to reopen.

Have a healthy holiday, see a movie this week

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