Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Tenet Crosses $200 Million Globally, But Slow U.S. Results Upend Release Calendar... Again

The Christopher Nolan movie made $6.7 million on the weekend of September 11-13, as Candyman and Wonder Woman 1984 pushed their dates.

by | September 13, 2020 | Comments

Last week we were all easing back into a brief period of seeming normalcy with Warner Bros. finally launching Christopher Nolan’s Tenet stateside. We were also still hedging our bets and putting kid gloves on while reporting what, if anything, the movie’s numbers meant about the state of moviegoing. This column has offered its own vision on how to look at them in the short term, but the studios are once again starting to look at the long game…


King of the Crop: Tenet Takes In $6.7 Million, But Calculating What That Means Is a Nolan-esque Mindbender

Tenet

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Warner Bros. was choosing not to release daily breakdowns on the Tenet numbers and for the second week in a row adopted the strategy of only releasing estimated totals for the film on Sunday morning. Based on reporting last week, we had a number of $20.2 million, which would have been a pretty on-target expected haul for the first (one-time-expected) blockbuster released since March, given what we had seen out of Unhinged and The New Mutants. However, further reporting revealed that the weekend number may have been more in the vicinity of just $12 million, with the rest of that $20.2 million coming from previews going back to the previous Monday. We knew some of the haul had come from earlier days last week, but may not have expected only 60% of that $20.2 million to have come over the four-day holiday. That brings us to this weekend.

According to the studio, Tenet led the box office this weekend with $6.7 million. That would be a 66.9% drop from the initially reported $20.2 million. However, if we look at the guesstimated breakdown to $12 million, that would be just a 44.2%. Except for the fact that Warner Bros. is saying that Tenet dropped just 29% this weekend, which by most accounts is a very solid hold bringing its domestic total to $29.5 million. But if that is true that means the three-day weekend haul last week was more between $9 million and $10 million, with the additional money being made on the Monday holiday.

That is less than half of what the average expectations were for Nolan’s film’s opening weekend, which is why rumors began to surface on the eve of the Dune trailer launch that WB was going to be pushing back Wonder Woman 1984 from its October 2 slot; on Friday, they did just that, pushing the superhero flick to December 25, 2020.

The Broken Hearts Gallery

(Photo by George Kraychyk / © TriStar Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Universal was the next to act, moving its Candyman remake into sometime in 2021. That leaves Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile and Sony’s animated Lord and Miller production, Connected, opening on October 23, as the next major studio releases on the schedule. On the semi-bright side, Tenet is up to $207 million worldwide, surpassing WB’s Birds of Prey ($201 million) for fifth place on the decimated 2020 chart, behind Bad Boys for LifeThe Eight HundredSonic the Hedgehog, and Dolittle.

The only new release of the week was The Broken Hearts Gallery. Sony decided to adopt the WB method and kept its numbers from the record until this morning: the movie made $1.1 million in 2,204 theaters. That’s a $499 per-theater-average. Even if we apply our rule of 2.5-to-3x for the multiple, that would mean the movie would be on track to earn $2.75-to-$3.3 million total in normal times. Or, to put it in September release terms, a number between what was earned by last year’s The Goldfinch and 1988’s Moon Over Parador.

Last week, Mulan grossed a reported $33.5 million from more than 1.1 homes with its $US29.99 Premium On Demand release on Disney+. This weekend, it made another $23.2 million opening in China for an international gross of $37.6 million. (That comes with a blackout on local press covering the film there due to several controversies.) Also last week, the column suggested The New Mutants was headed for a final tally between $16.9 million and $20.3 million; its total this weekend stands at $15.3 million. Unhinged is not putting up big numbers, but they are a little better when compared against the August releases we had it in league last week. With $13.8 million total, it just outgrossed 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Die For. So that’s…something.


On This Weekend’s Dates In Box Office History…

Inside Out

(Photo by © Pixar, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

With so little action in our current-day box office, we’re casting our eyes back this week.

September 11: Five years ago, Pixar’s Inside Out surpassed $350 million with $283,530 on its 85th day of release. At the time it was the second-highest–grossing film for the animation company behind just Toy Story 3. Since then, Finding Dory, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4 have all surpassed it. Fifteen years ago, in 2005, Wedding Crashers passed $200 million on its 59th day of release with $738,000, making it the sixth-highest–grossing “R”-rated film ever at the time.

September 12: In 2015, Marvel’s Ant-Man made it to $175 million, grossing $811,713 on day 58. Back in 1993, In the Line of Fire reached $100 million on its 66th day of release, with $338,164. Fifteen years later, Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder grossed $1.21 million to cross $100 million on its 31st day of release. A year later, Quentin Tarantino would accomplish the same feat with Inglourious Basterds, doing it by grossing $2.78 million on just its 23rd day in theaters.

September 13: Day 44 of release for James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a momentous one: it grossed $3.9 million to pass $300 million. It took 93 days and another $178,547 for How To Train Your Dragon 2 to reach $175 million. Stephen King’s It only took six days to gross $150 million when it made $7.9 million on this day in 2017. Then we have a quartet of $100 million passers. American Pie did it in 1999 on its 67th day with $73,625; Step Brothers crossed the line on day 51 with $190,687; and Disney’s Freaky Friday remake made it with $2.01 million on day 39. But it was this day in 2002 that was part of one of the most historic runs in box office history: With $3.05 million, My Big Fat Greek Wedding made it to $100 million on its 148th day of release.


What Should Have Been This Weekend

Warner Bros.

This was to be the weekend of the latest film in The Conjuring universe. The James Wan-less The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was going to be battling A Quiet Place Part II for number 1 at the box office when that film initially moved from March to September in what looked like a pretty horror-centric month. Alas, the third entry in the series, helmed by The Curse of La Llorona’s Michael Chaves, was pushed back to June 4, 2021.


Full List of Box Office Results: September 11-13, 2020

  • $6.7 million ($29.5 million total)

  • $2.05 million ($15.29 million total)

  • $1.5 million ($13.83 million total)

  • $1.13 million ($1.13 million total)

  • $193,000 ($1.4 million total)


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Tag Cloud

MSNBC worst FX on Hulu Tubi Tarantino Masterpiece Photos Rom-Com discovery 45 remakes Podcast FX asian-american dceu talk show strong female leads Musical space Comics on TV Mary Poppins Returns FOX Disney+ Disney Plus Cartoon Network laika news toy story Song of Ice and Fire TIFF cults spinoff Rocky ABC satire Sundance TV Paramount Network Trivia cinemax spain spanish language APB Fantasy what to watch El Rey Emmy Nominations Netflix Christmas movies indie Winners comiccon The Arrangement CBS BAFTA comic WGN Shondaland police drama indiana jones harry potter breaking bad sequel The CW joker transformers Comic Book anthology Ovation Brie Larson Amazon Prime Video TCM Sundance Now Comedy ESPN Epix RT21 latino TruTV Family sports television fast and furious name the review Britbox facebook renewed TV shows Acorn TV canceled TV shows Watching Series casting Pride Month teaser reboot social media MCU 007 HBO Max Dark Horse Comics Netflix crossover Film cancelled TV series Superheroes Black Mirror halloween streaming diversity Black History Month TBS Mystery Apple TV+ game of thrones romance 4/20 dc Interview Spike Funimation Heroines Thanksgiving Rock children's TV video on demand batman technology Red Carpet reviews Super Bowl independent Disney Channel all-time Amazon Prime true crime DirecTV Mindy Kaling Syfy directors USA Network Western 2020 parents aliens Premiere Dates 2016 Martial Arts See It Skip It TV renewals Bravo screenings Peacock Hulu Video Games kids football stand-up comedy stop motion foreign Universal composers Marvel Television LGBTQ spider-man RT History Columbia Pictures Mary poppins Tumblr X-Men singing competition golden globes worst movies cooking sag awards thriller child's play Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 72 Emmy Awards Shudder Travel Channel period drama sitcom rotten movies we love Schedule game show Disney unscripted TCA Awards Academy Awards Drama video Walt Disney Pictures Star Wars Crunchyroll NBC dragons Food Network rotten Awards Tour Starz hist HBO WarnerMedia DC Comics Polls and Games blockbuster chucky documentary concert The Purge Tomatazos travel comedies slashers Calendar movie CMT The Walking Dead BBC A24 zero dark thirty serial killer binge IFC MTV DGA Pixar Amazon Studios robots Action nbcuniversal sequels GoT Apple TV Plus 2019 Reality Competition Pet Sematary dark Warner Bros. festivals Lucasfilm obituary GIFs Apple Quiz FXX vampires Chernobyl war HBO Go Marathons VH1 psychological thriller Cosplay Hallmark crime Sneak Peek animated elevated horror dogs TCA Winter 2020 LGBT Paramount disaster based on movie movies GLAAD historical drama cartoon Pop TV biography Country Women's History Month boxoffice psycho TNT ghosts VICE IFC Films Trophy Talk Set visit Baby Yoda Mary Tyler Moore President stoner Countdown green book CW Seed Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt superhero richard e. Grant nature cancelled TV shows venice theme song CNN Stephen King E3 criterion screen actors guild Binge Guide scorecard YouTube Red Mudbound Esquire Horror E! emmy awards witnail Extras romantic comedy critics Holidays Biopics SundanceTV Kids & Family 2017 finale A&E festival mutant zombie cars BBC One Lionsgate Vudu christmas movies tv talk ABC Family Disney streaming service BET Awards Nominations Pop 21st Century Fox Election justice league Rocketman classics 24 frames Hear Us Out Freeform PaleyFest Opinion Captain marvel series TLC Crackle Hallmark Christmas movies Showtime nfl cancelled television docudrama 2015 Awards versus Lifetime Christmas movies YouTube best Nickelodeon TV Land twilight Superheroe Oscars werewolf Avengers TCA Comedy Central SXSW Cannes VOD Toys mockumentary Music supernatural Valentine's Day crime drama Disney Plus OWN Elton John comics 2018 Logo Animation revenge political drama PlayStation mission: impossible Character Guide Fox News Nat Geo First Reviews hollywood OneApp jamie lee curtis Year in Review Ghostbusters Arrowverse documentaries National Geographic Spectrum Originals BBC America Best and Worst Lifetime The Witch Sundance Emmys ITV Turner Classic Movies cats anime Holiday Sony Pictures DC Universe SDCC franchise Winter TV Turner miniseries Sci-Fi 71st Emmy Awards Star Trek TCA 2017 Christmas Pirates Marvel Studios American Society of Cinematographers Classic Film politics cops San Diego Comic-Con book Certified Fresh Television Critics Association Box Office Spring TV dramedy adaptation zombies Amazon natural history spy thriller AMC Writers Guild of America die hard award winner adventure History DC streaming service Musicals First Look PBS ratings Reality medical drama USA a nightmare on elm street Creative Arts Emmys films NYCC cancelled south america Endgame Television Academy CBS All Access BET Fall TV canceled universal monsters toronto Marvel science fiction scary movies Infographic Grammys Anna Paquin TV Trailer doctor who Film Festival quibi Summer hispanic blaxploitation YouTube Premium Discovery Channel Adult Swim crime thriller 20th Century Fox Teen free movies YA New York Comic Con