UPDATED 09/06/20 2:40 p.m. ET: Following its U.S. opening on Thursday, Tenet has now grossed $20.2 million to date across 2,810 theaters. Combined with the overseas performance, the latest Christopher Nolan film has now grossed just above $146 million worldwide.
It's worth noting that these numbers come from only 65 percent of domestic theaters, as some of the biggest markets, including Los Angeles and New York, have yet to reopen theaters. In addition, the cinemas that have reopened are running at limited capacity, with different chains allowing anywhere from 25 to 40 percent capacity max.
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Tenet is bringing some much-needed optimism to the film industry.
According to Variety, the Christopher Nolan has made a surprisingly strong debut at the international box office, racking in more than $100 million overseas. Though the movie hit U.S. theaters on Thursday, the outlet points out the global figure does not include domestic ticket sales, as those will be reported Sunday. Experts project Tenet will gross more than $20 million at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend. The film reportedly cost over $200 million to make.
Tenet was originally set to release on July 17, but experienced a number of delays due to theater closures throughout the coronavirus pandemic. It's reportedly the second film to surpass the $100 million mark since the global pandemic was declared; the first do so was the Chinese war drama The Eight Hundred, which premiered last month.
Ann Sarnoff, head of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, told Variety that the studio plans to keep Tenet in the theaters for an extended period so audiences will have more "time to get comfortable with the idea of returning to multiplexes." Tenet debuted in just 2,800 North American theaters during Labor Day weekend; however, it did not premiere in major markets, like Los Angeles and New York City, where theaters have been forced to remain closed.
"We’re using the old marathon-versus-sprint approach. We’re in it for the long game," Sarnoff said. "It’s so unprecedented to launch it this way. We’re feeling good and waiting for some numbers to start coming in."
Tenet is a spy thriller written and directed by Nolan. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, and Elizabeth Debecki.