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‘Tenet’ Grosses $170 Million At The Box Office!

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After months of delays due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic ‘Tenet’ finally landed in the cinemas. And it has performed admirably well at the box office, despite the ongoing situation.

For months on, cinemagoers and audiences were starved of new content because of the pandemic. Even though Netflix and online streaming services thrived and released new content, it just wasn’t the right replacement for a cinema. And judging ‘Tenet’ by its numbers at the box office, it doesn’t come off as a surprise.

‘Tenet’ grosses millions!

Tenet Grosses $170 Million At The Box Office!
Warner Bros. ©

In theatres across the US, ‘Tenet’ grossed around $20.2 million over the Labor day weekend. And considering the implications of the pandemic, ticket sales roughly coincide with the expected sales. These sales also include the ticket sales from preview screenings that started on Monday in the U.S. and Canada. However, it is at the global stage where the sci-fi/espionage thriller is truly excelling.

‘Tenet’ has earned around $150 million globally, due to its great international appeal. This weekend, the movie earned another $78.3 million, taking its worldwide box office tally at $146.2 million. Despite a gross earning of $170 million, the movie is still short of its colossal budget of $200 million, making it the most expensive movie Christopher Nolan has ever made.

Had the movie been released in pre-coronavirus times, it would have earned millions more. However, due to the pandemic, thousands of cinemas across the country are closed or out of operation. Despite the environment and pandemic, ‘Tenet’ still did fairly well. David A. Gross, a box office analyst told Variety:

“With a significant number of key U.S. states and cities still closed, this is a fair opening. Business in the U.S. is improving, but large numbers of moviegoers are not back yet. For now, this is as good as it gets.”

However, the main question is, why did Warner Bros. still release the mega-budget movie, despite the pandemic?

Why did Warner Bros. release the movie?

‘Tenet’ was released and played in 2800 cinemas across the country, which is not much when you consider that only 65 to 70 % of cinemas are open. Moreover, cinemas in lucrative markets like New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco are still closed. That took a massive toll on the release figures too. Moreover, drive-in cinemas are also trending ever since the pandemic began. But, Warner Bros. had strict regulations on drive-in theatre releases as well. They said drive-in cinemas can play ‘Tenet’ in only those cities where indoor venues would be open. That meant the major cities could not watch ‘Tenet’.

Then why did the studio still decide to release ‘Tenet’?

The answer is that Warner Bros. placed its bet on the audience at this time because they had been starved of new movies for months. Moreover, if a major release like ‘Tenet’ goes as planned and attracts a decent audience, it’ll improve the confidence among cinema-goers who are still reluctant to go to theatres.

Instead of releasing the film online, as Disney did with ‘Mulan’, Warner Bros. wants people back in cinemas for ‘Tenet’. This is because an online release is still very risky. Therefore, by releasing ‘Tenet’ in cinemas, the studios want to take down two birds with one stone. They want to gamble on the potential of cinema in COVID-19 times and they want to establish some faith in theatres all over again. If things go as planned, we can expect further major releases sooner than before!

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