Theaters that reopened in August face tough decisions as box office collapses
Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” has passed $300 million at the global box office and $45 million domestically, grossing $2.7 million at U.S. theaters this weekend as Cineworld announces that it will close its U.K. locations and could close most or all of its Regal Cinemas locations in the U.S..
Overall, the global box office total for the Christopher Nolan thriller now stands at $307 million, with $14.2 million grossed globally this weekend. Japan was the top overseas market, providing $2.5 million while France and Germany combined for $2.1 million. In Great Britain, which is now seeing theaters close nationwide thanks to a combination of surging COVID-19 infections and news that MGM was moving the release of the James Bond film “No Time to Die” to 2021, “Tenet” added $804,000 to bring its cume in Nolan’s home country to just under $21 million.
The screen count for “Tenet” in the U.S. dropped slightly to 2,722 screens, but it remains to be seen how much the “No Time to Die” move will affect Warner’s hopes for theater reopenings in major cities. For theaters that reopened back in late August, hard decisions are coming as Disney/Pixar’s “Soul” remains as the last major studio film slated for release in the next two months and is now expected to move as well following news of the possible Regal shutdown.
With popular content dwindling and Congress at an impasse over renewing federal aid, thousands of theaters, including many of Cineworld’s Regal Cinemas locations, are expected to drastically reduce their operating hours to reduce operating costs and possibly close again altogether.
For theaters in cities like Los Angeles and New York that never got the chance to reopen, decisions will have to be made on whether it will be worth it to open their doors again on a full or reduced basis with “Tenet” as the only major offering, though signs of consistent turnout for “Tenet” in closure-adjacent markets like Orange County may be a point in Warner’s favor.
More to come…
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