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

(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

[movie_link_apple id=771512018 tmeter=true]

  • $6.7 million ($29.5 million total)


[movie_link_apple id=771452522 tmeter=true]

  • $2.05 million ($15.29 million total)


[movie_link_apple id=771512532 tmeter=true]

  • $1.5 million ($13.83 million total)


[movie_link_apple id=771522227 tmeter=true]

  • $1.13 million ($1.13 million total)


[movie_link_apple id=771512245 tmeter=true]

  • $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

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