Tenet Is Not Making Much Money In The US

In its third weekend, Tenet's box office numbers only dropped a bit--but the film is underperforming.


The wide release of Tenet into US cinemas has been looked to as a test case for whether cinemas can resume some level of normal business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and in its third weekend, things aren't looking so good. The LA Times reports that the film earned $4.7 million over the September 18-20 weekend, and while this is only a 26% drop, the film is still underperforming domestically--especially with no major releases planned for the rest of the month.

These numbers can partly be attributed to the fact that cinemas in California and New York largely remain closed--80% across California have not reopened yet--but they're still lower than Warner Bros., and cinema chains, were likely expecting. The film has made a disappointing $36.1 million in the US so far, despite getting off to what was viewed as a strong start.

The film's underperformance is likely the reason why Wonder Woman 1984, also from Warner Bros., has been pushed back until December.

Internationally, the picture is slightly brighter--the film has made $239 million, according to Box Office Mojo--but the $200 million film will likely not recoup its costs in theatres after marketing is factored in. Internationally, Tenet is the fifth highest grossing film of the year so far, behind Doolittle ($245.6 million).

This has created an issue for many cinema chains around the country--after reopening for Tenet, they now find themselves underperforming while also needing to pay for the costs of keeping a cinema open.

The next major cinema release for 2020 is Death on the Nile, coming October 23. Marvel's Black Widow is scheduled for a November 6 release, but a delay is expected.

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