At long last, Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated spy thriller Tenet has arrived in theaters in America. The movie had opened in Canada last weekend, and together the two territories have provided Tenet with a cumulative haul of $20.2M to date at 2,810 theaters. Adding in the money from foreign markets, the movie’s box-office adds up to a reasonable $150 million worldwide gross.
While such box office numbers would not have been anything to get excited about until as late as last year, in a post-lockdown world where theaters are struggling to stay open, Nolan has managed to draw an impressive crowd to cinemas based on his fan following alone. The marketing around Tenet had kept specific plot details under a tight wrap, meaning the only impetus for audiences to brave the threat of infection and go to theaters was the desire to watch a new Christopher Nolan movie.
Before release, Tenet was widely being seen as a savor of the box-office, a genuine new quality offering from a filmmaker who can do no wrong in the eyes of the audiences, that would compel people to return to cinemas after several months of getting used to streaming content online.
While the prophecy turned out to be true to a certain extent, it is still too early to declare Tenet a box-office hit. In fact, an interesting race is being run right now between the theatrical release of a big-budget movie like Tenet from a well-respected studio like Warner, and the VOD release of the equally big-budget Mulan from the equally well-respected studio Disney.
Although the mouse empire has not disclosed the numbers done by Mulan upon release, industry experts are trying to gauge the profitability of the film via a VOD release compared to Tenet’s numbers at the box-office. The winner of this contest could well inform whether studios decide to continue with a theatrical release for big-budget movies or conclude that a VOD release can make them more money.
For now, Tenet has a clear run at the box-office with no serious competitors. The movie currently holds a 74% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not as high as previous Nolan movies, but still fairly decent. For those who have been missing the cinema experience enforced by the lockdown, the film is the best excuse in months to buy a theater ticket.
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Tenet features a lead cast of John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branaugh, Dimple Kapadia, Martin Donovan, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Himesh Patel, Cl&émence Po&ésy, Denzil Smith, and Michael Caine.
The film tells the tale of an unnamed protagonist who is tasked with a mission to prevent armageddon. He is aided in his efforts by an elite crew of international spies, and a radical piece of tech known as Time Inversion, which allows people to travel backward through time while the rest of the world moves forward. Tenet is available for viewing in select theaters. This news arrives from Deadline.
- Box Office Labor Day Weekend 2020
&• 1. Tenet – $20.2 Million
&• 2. The New Mutants – $2.8 Million
&• 3. Unhinged – $1.6 Million
&• 4. The Personal History of David Copperfield – $361K
&• 5. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run – $345K
&• 6. Words on Bathroom Walls – $$282K
&• 7. My Brother’s Crossing – $12K