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

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