Warner Bros. 'Tenet' Slows to $6.7 Million at U.S. Box Office as Theater Reopenings Taper Off The film’s domestic total sits at just under $30 million – not a good sign for the theatrical market 13 Sep 2020, 17:14 by Jeremy Fuster
Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” has crossed the $200 million mark at the global box office, but grosses in the U.S. are beginning to taper off as the wave of reopenings has started to subside.
The Christopher Nolan film has added $6.7 million from 2,910 screens this weekend, serving as a 29% drop from the film’s $9 million Friday-to Sunday total last weekend. Though Warner Bros. reported an estimated $20 million opening over the extended Labor Day weekend, that number was also inflated by several days worth of preview screenings at select locations. Currently, the film’s domestic total sits at just under $30 million.
The numbers come as Warner Bros. and Sony are taking heat from rival distributors for not providing daily box office numbers on “Tenet” and the newly-released romantic comedy “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” data which is crucial to both box office reporting and to distributors trying to gauge the health of the theatrical market for their own releases.
Warner Bros. execs have stressed in calls to reporters that expectations should be lowered given the unprecedented circumstances in which “Tenet” is being released. And rival distributors have told TheWrap that
there is a limit to how much prognostication can be made about theaters based on “Tenet”‘s numbers considering that the theatrical landscape is changing every weekend.
Still, the revised context of a $29.5 million performance through two weekends plus previews puts”Tenet” and the overall state of the rebuilding theatrical market in a new light. “Tenet” is still waiting for several major cities, including New York and Los Angeles, to reopen their theaters as its theater count only increased by 100 locations this weekend. Without those cities, a significant portion of the film’s box office potential still has yet to be determined.
Sources tell TheWrap that the film performed particularly well at theaters in Orange County, where theaters reopened with a 25% capacity limit after reaching COVID-19 containment thresholds implemented by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Over the past two weekends, moviegoers in major cities have shown a willingness
to travel to adjacent counties or states if theaters are not open in their local area. If that interest in the film is being shared by moviegoers who want to see “Tenet” but can’t or don’t want to make that drive, then it is possible that there’s still a good chunk of audience that “Tenet” has yet to tap into.
However, if weekend totals continue to drop in cities like Chicago and Salt Lake City, where theaters have reopened but infection rates are not steadily declining, then it is a serious sign that “Tenet” does not have a strong enough draw to bring audiences aside from hardcore Nolan fans to theaters despite the industry’s efforts to convince the public that they are safe.
If that is the case, “Tenet” will need more time for more cities to reopen and for infection rates to hopefully decline and help restore customer confidence. That is a likely factor in Warner Bros.’ decision to push back the release of “Wonder Woman 1984” from early October to Christmas Day. Without a fellow WB release cannibalizing precious screen space, “Tenet” may still have some time in the coming weeks to leg out if theaters in major markets can open in the fall. Universal responded to the “WW84” move by also moving its own October release, “Candyman,” to 2021.
On the brighter side for “Tenet,” overseas numbers are still looking rather solid as its Chinese grosses increase to $50 million after a $10 million second weekend in that market. Word of mouth is also improving for the film with an 80% approval rating on Comscore/ScreenEngine’s Postrak surveys among this weekend’s audiences, with 65% saying they would “definitely recommend” the film to others By comparison, the film had a 49% “definite recommend” last weekend with a B on CinemaScore, lower than the B+ earned by “Inception” in 2010.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, an increasing number of movies are delaying or suspending production. As the number of impacted movies grows, TheWrap felt it would be most informative to keep a running list. Disney/MGM/Warner Bros. "No Time to Die" MGM, Universal and Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of "No Time to Die" will be postponed until November 2020. Photo credit: Universal "A Quiet Place Part II" Director John Krasinski announced on Instagram that the horror sequel's March theatrical release would be delayed amid the growing spread of the coronavirus around the globe. Paramount has now dated the film for release on Sept. 4. Photo credit: Paramount “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway" was one of the first films delayed as part of the coronavirus, with Sony pushing its late March release to Aug. 7. But as the shutdowns continued, Sony juggled its release slate so that the family film will now open Jan. 15, 2021. Photo credit: Sony "Fast and Furious 9" The release of the next “Fast & Furious” installment, “F9,” has been delayed from May 22 to now opening on April 2, 2021. Photo credit: Universal "The Lovebirds" Paramount postponed the April 3 theatrical release of the romantic comedy “The Lovebirds" starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani after its SXSW premiere was also canceled. Netflix then acquired the film from Paramount and debuted it on May 22. Paramount/Netflix "Blue Story" Paramount postponed the theatrical release UK gang film "Blue Story," which was set to open on March 20. The film then premiered on digital on May 5. Photo credit: Paramount "The Artist's Wife" Strand Releasing and Water's End Productions delayed the limited release of the Bruce Dern and Lena Olin film "The Artist's Wife." The film was meant to open in New York on April 3 in Los Angeles on April 10 and in San Francisco on April 17. No new release date has been set. Strand Releasing "The Truth" Hirokazu Kore-eda's film "The Truth" from IFC Films will postpone its March 20 domestic release to now open at an unspecified date in summer 2020. The film is in both French and English starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke and has already opened in some overseas markets. IFC Films has set a new release date for July 3. IFC Films "Mulan" Disney postponed the release of its blockbuster, live-action remake of the animated film "Mulan" from March 27 to now open on July 24. The shift was part of a big shuffle of films Disney made to its release calendar on April 3. Disney "The New Mutants" After numerous delays, 20th Century's X-Men spinoff "The New Mutants" was also pushed back by Disney "out of an abundance of caution." The film from director Josh Boone was meant to open April 3. The film will now open Aug. 28, 2020. 20th Century Studios "Antlers" "Antlers," an indie horror film from director Scott Cooper starring Keri Russell, was also pushed back by Disney and Searchlight Pictures from its April 17 release. No new release date has been set. Searchlight Pictures "Black Widow" and the MCUIn a restructuring of its entire release calendar, Disney pushed back every Marvel movie in the cinematic universe. "Black Widow" was meant to open on May 1, but will now shift back to the slot previously occupied by "The Eternals" on Nov. 6.“Eternals” is moving to February 12, 2021, “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” will open May 7, 2021, and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is shifting to Nov. 5, 2021. The changes also affected Marvel's slate for 2022 with “Thor: Love and Thunder” opening Feb. 18, 2022, “Black Panther 2” shifting to May 8, 2022, and “Captain Marvel 2,” which was not previously dated, is now set for a July 8, 2022 release. Marvel Untitled Elvis Movie Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic starring Austin Butler ceased production in Australia after co-star Tom Hanks (playing Presley manager Col. Parker) and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for COVID-19. The planned release date was also bumped back one month to now open Nov. 5, 2021. Getty Images "Mission: Impossible 7 and 8" In late February, Paramount's action sequel halted production in Italy on the Tom Cruise action sequel. Paramount on April 24 also bumped the release dates of both films, with "M:I 7" moving to November 19, 2021 from its July 2021 release date, and the eighth film also moving back to Nov. 4, 2022 from its summer release. Paramount Pictures "The Nightingale" Sony postponed the Budapest shoot of the drama starring real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning. Getty Images "Birds of Paradise" Amazon Studios halted production in Budapest on director Sarah Adina Smith's ballet drama. Getty Images "Jurassic World: Dominion" Universal put a pause on production on the third "Jurassic World" in March after four weeks of shooting had been completed in the UK for a 20-week shoot. Production will resume on July 6, and the film is expected to be released on June 11, 2021. Universal Pictures "Flint Strong" Universal also halted production on this boxing biopic starring Ice Cube and Ryan Destiny. Getty Images "Man From Toronto" Sony delayed the start of production on the action comedy starring Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson (who stepped in to replace Jason Statham). "Official Competition"Spanish studio Mediapro suspended production on the new comedy starring Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. Getty Images "The Batman" On March 14, Warner Bros. halted the U.K. production on Matt Reeve's DC Films reboot for at least two weeks. The film stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader. On April 20, Warner Bros. officially shifted the release date back four months to Oct. 1 from its originally planned June 2021 release date. The shift also pushed back some other DC titles, including "The Flash" to June 3, 2022 and "Shazam 2!" to Nov. 4, 2022. Warner Bros. "Samaritan" On March 14, MGM paused production on the Sylvester Stallone thriller. The film had been shooting in Atlanta. Getty Images "Cinderella"Sony's modernized take on "Cinderella" from director Kay Cannon and starring Camila Cabello will put its production on hiatus due to the travel ban extension to the UK. The film was shooting at Pinewood Studios. Getty Images "Fantastic Beasts 3"The third installment of J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts" series that's spun off from the Harry Potter universe will postpone its production that was scheduled to begin in March in the U.K. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Katherine Waterston. Warner Bros. "The Card Counter"Paul Schrader's "The Card Counter," starring Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, Tye Sheridan and Tiffany Haddish, shut down production with five days remaining in its shoot after the director said on Facebook that a "day player" tested positive for the virus. "Myself, I would have shot through hellfire rain to complete the film," Schrader added. "I'm old and asthmatic, what better way to die than on the job?" Schrader said in an interview in June that the film would resume production on July 6 but that all major crowd and intimate scenes had been completed. HanWay Films "The Matrix 4"Production on "The Matrix 4" was temporarily put on hold in March, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap. The sequel starring Keanu Reeves was in production in Berlin, Germany. Warner Bros. "First Cow"After releasing Kelly Reichardt's "First Cow" in limited release on March 6, the distributor announced Monday it will re-release the film in theaters later this year. A24 "Deerskin"The theatrical release of the indie film "Deerskin" from director Quentin Dupieux starring Jean Dujardin has been postponed until further notice. Greenwich Entertainment meant to release the film on March 20 after it played at Cannes, TIFF and Fantastic Fest. The movie will now open via a virtual cinema offering on May 1. Greenwich Entertainment "Uncharted"“Uncharted,” the film adaptation of the popular PlayStation video game franchise starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and Antonio Banderas, was unable to begin production in March amid coronavirus concerns. As part of a larger shuffle of Sony's release slate, the most recent release date for the film was also shifted back from March 2021 to Oct. 8, 2021. Getty Images/Naughty Dog "The Climb"Sony Pictures Classics' indie comedy "The Climb," which played at Sundance this year, was meant to hit theaters March 20 and will now be released on Oct. 9. Sony Pictures Classics "Avatar"The sequels to James Cameron's four "Avatar" sequels delayed shooting in New Zealand indefinitely, according to the film's producer Jon Landau speaking to the New Zealand Herald. The executive team was to fly to Wellington, NZ on Friday but will remain in Los Angeles due to the coronavirus. Landau said he couldn't give an answer as to when production would resume and when the local Kiwi crew could get back to work. "If I told you we are going to know something in two weeks I'd be lying. I might not be wrong - even a broken clock is right twice a day. But I would be lying because I don't know," Landau said. "We're in the midst of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everybody needs to do now whatever we can do, as we say here, to flatten the curve." 20th Century Studios "The Personal History of David Copperfield"Searchlight Studios was meant to release "Veep" creator Armando Iannucci's comedic take on the Charles Dickens novel on May 8. It will now open in limited release on August 14. Searchlight Pictures "The Woman in the Window"The Amy Adams mystery thriller from director Joe Wright, "The Woman in the Window" was meant to open in theaters on May 15 from 20th Century Studios. No new release date has been set. 20th Century Studios "Bull"The theatrical release of the Annie Silverstein indie drama "Bull" was postponed from its March 20 release and will now open on VOD and digital on May 1. The film has toured the festival circuit since making its debut at Cannes in 2019. Samuel Goldwyn Films "Minions: The Rise of Gru"The latest "Minions" movie "The Rise of Gru" was postponed from its release date on July 3. Illumination Entertainment's Paris office was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus, so the film was not able to be finished in time. Universal will release the film on July 2, 2021, a full year after its initial date. Universal "Wonder Woman 1984"The sequel to "Wonder Woman" starring Gal Gadot will now hit theaters on Oct. 2 after first being pushed back from its June 5 release date and again from Aug. 12. Warner Bros. "In the Heights"The movie musical based on Lin-Manuel Miranda's stage production "In the Heights" was postponed by Warner Bros. from its June 26 release date and bumped to June 18, 2021. Warner Bros. "Malignant""Malignant," a horror film from director James Wan, was pushed indefinitely from its release date on Aug. 14 to clear the way for "Wonder Woman 1984" to open at the tail end of the summer. Getty Images "Peter Rabbit 2," "Morbius" and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife"In a sweeping overhaul of its release slate, Sony moved three films it had scheduled for release this summer to the first quarter of 2021. The "Peter Rabbit" sequel will now be released in January 2021 while both "Morbius" and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" have been moved to next March. Sony "Greyhound"Sony has moved a WWII drama written by and starring Tom Hanks off of its mid-June release date and partnered with Apple to release the film on Apple TV+ in early July. Sony "Wicked"Universal has removed the movie musical adaptation of “Wicked” from its release slate from its original date on Dec. 22, 2021, and will be redated at a later time. Getty Images "Sing 2"Illumination’s “Sing 2” will now open in the place vacated by “Wicked” on Universal's release slate on Dec. 22, 2021. Illumination "Top Gun: Maverick"The sequel to the 1985 hit starring Tom Cruise has been pushed back from June 24 to December 23, 2020. Paramount "Candyman"Universal's horror film "Candyman" from director Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele will move from its June 12 release date to Sept. 25, 2020. Universal "Praise This"The Will Packer-produced musical comedy "Praise This" about a church choir was delayed from its Sept. 25 release date and will be re-added to the slate by Universal at a later date. Photographed by Ian Spanier for TheWrap "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run"Paramount originally shifted the animated "Spongebob" movie from its release date on May 22 to open on August 7, but it will now debut in early 2021 on premium VOD followed by the rebranded CBS All Access. Paramount Animation "Jungle Cruise"With the shift of "Mulan," Disney moved the release of the Dwayne Johnson adventure comedy "Jungle Cruise" back a full year to July 30, 2021. Disney "Free Guy"The Ryan Reynolds video game comedy was meant to open July 3 but will now open Dec. 11. 20th Century Fox/Disney "The French Dispatch"Director Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” moved from July 24, 2020 to Oct. 16, 2020 as part of Disney's shift of its entire release calendar. Searchlight Pictures Untitled Indiana JonesThe fifth Indiana Jones movie starring Harrison Ford has already shifted its release date in response to Disney's wave of other release changes. It will now open July 29, 2022. Paramount "Nobody"Universal's "Nobody," a revenge thriller and action movie starring Bob Odenkirk from the writer of "John Wick" and the producers of "Atomic Blonde," was delayed from its Aug. 14, 2020 release date to now open on Feb. 26, 2021. As a result, an untitled M. Night Shyamalan thriller that was slated for that day is now undated and will be re-added to the calendar later. Photograph by Steven Gerlich for TheWrap "Soul" and "Raya and the Last Dragon"Disney and Pixar's "Soul" was moved from its June release date to open on Nov. 20. It's now opening near where the Disney Animation Studios film "Raya and the Last Dragon" was meant to open. That movie will now debut March 12, 2021. It filled the slot of an unnamed Disney live-action film that has now been removed from the slate. Walt Disney Studios/Pixar "Infinite"The latest film from director Antoine Fuqua starring Mark Wahlberg, "Infinite," was pushed back by Paramount from its Aug. 7 release date to now open on Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 2021. The film is currently in post-production, and while "Infinite" wasn't explicitly pushed back due to the coronavirus, the new date allows the studio more time to ramp up the film's original intellectual property. Getty Images "The Many Saints of Newark"The prequel to "The Sopranos" that follows a young Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini's son Michael Gandolfini, during the 1960s Newark riots was pushed to 2021, now opening on March 12, 2021 after originally being slated for a September 2020 release. Getty Images "King Richard"The biopic about the life of tennis great Richard Williams starring Will Smith was pushed from its November 2020 release date to now opening almost a full year later on Nov. 19, 2021. Getty Images "Venom: Let There Be Carnage"While the "Venom" sequel did get a new title from Sony in its latest update, "Let There Be Carnage," it also found itself pushed back from an October release to now open on June 25, 2021. Sony "Dungeons & Dragons"Paramount's movie based on the "Dungeons & Dragons" game from the directors of "Game Night," John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, has been delayed from a November 2021 release date to May 27, 2022. Getty Images "Spell"Paramount's horror film starring Omari Hardwick that was set for release in August of this year was pulled from the release calendar, with no new date set as of yet. Starz "John Wick: Chapter 4"The fourth movie in the Keanu Reeves action franchise "John Wick" was moved back a full year to now open May 27, 2022. Lionsgate also juggled several of its other big releases to 2021 and 2022, including "Fatale" (10/30/20), "Voyagers" (11/25/20), "The Asset" (4/23/21), "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar" (7/16/21), "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" (8/20/21) and "American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story" (12/10/21). Further, the films "Run" and "Jesus Revolution" are both without release dates. Lionsgate "Antebellum"Lionsgate's horror movie "Antebellum" starring Janelle Monáe was moved from its April release date to now being the studio's next most earliest release in 2020 on Aug. 21. Lionsgate "Spiral""Spiral," Chris Rock's new take on the "Saw" franchise that stars himself and Samuel L. Jackson, was moved from a summer 2020 release to now open on May 21, 2021. Lionsgate "The Forever Purge"The fifth film in "The Purge" horror franchise was meant to open in theaters on July 10 of this year but was pulled from the release calendar. No new date has been set as of yet. Universal "Kajillionaire""Kajillionaire," the latest film from director Miranda July that made its debut at Sundance and stars Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, has been pushed from its planned June release date to now open Sept. 18, 2020. However, the film will still open theatrically in a limited release. Courtesy of Sundance Institute/Focus Features "Everybody's Talking About Jamie"20th Century Studios' adaptation of the stage musical about a teenage drag queen stars Max Harwood and Richard E. Grant. It was meant to open Oct. 23, 2020 but will now open Jan. 22, 2021. Getty Images "The Beatles: Get Back""The Beatles: Get Back," a documentary from Peter Jackson about the Fab Four's time recording the "Let It Be" album and culminating in their historic rooftop concert, was pushed back from a fall release on Sept. 4, 2020 to now open Aug. 27, 2021. Photo Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd. "The Broken Hearts Gallery"Selena Gomez-produced rom-com “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is the story of Lucy, a 20-something art gallery assistant living in New York who, after her latest breakup, decides to create a pop-up art space of artifacts from past relationships. The film which was scheduled to be released on Aug. 7, has been pulled from the release schedule with its release date to be determined. "Greenland"“Greenland,” a disaster thriller which stars Gerard Butler, along with the rest of humanity, tries to escape a massive comet that threatens to make all life on Earth extinct. Originally scheduled to be released on August 14, the film has been pushed a month to September 25. All the Movies Suspended or Delayed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic (Updating)Release slates for 2021 and beyond are taking shape as studios look to write off summer 2020 View In Gallery