9:15 AM PDT 9/13/2020 by Pamela McClintock
Christopher Nolan's Tenet continues to struggle in North America — where moviegoing remains off limits in Los Angeles and New York City — but continues to impress overseas for an estimated global gross of $207 million through Sunday.
Over the weekend, the pic earned an estimated $6.7 million domestically from 2,901 cinemas for cume of $29.5 million. The studio said it's a promising sign that Tenet dropped just 29 percent from the $9.4 million earned during the Sept. 4-6 weekend. However, it isn't an apples to apples comparison since Tenet unfurled over the long Labor Day corridor. Also, Tenet is playing in 100 more theaters now.
The tentpole is doing especially well on premium format screens. Imax screens alone have generated $23 million in ticket sales.
In an unprecedented move, Warner Bros. has been shielding domestic grosses from public view by blocking anyone from seeing Tenet weekday and weekend numbers on Comscore, a receptacle for real-time grosses provided by cinemas. Sources say Warners wants to control the narrative, versus having rival studios weigh in.
Warners is reporting grosses normally for international markets, which are well ahead of the U.S. in terms of cinema reopenings. Tenet has now grossed $177.5 offshore — including another $30.6 million this weekend — for a global total of $207 million through Sunday. It isn't unusual for Nolan's movies to make far more offshore.
A major hurdle in the U.S. are the top markets where Nolan's films prosper remain off limits in terms of moviegoing. Warners has always said that Tenet will be a marathon versus a sprint.
Last week, indoor cinemas in New Jersey and Orange County began reopening in earnest. It was a major boost, considering cinemas in both areas are close to L.A. and New York City. Tenet's two top-grossing theaters this weekend were in Orange County, followed by a location in Northern Virginia, a Los Angeles drive-in and a theater in New Jersey.
Elsewhere, Sony is estimating a $1.1 million opening from 2,204 theaters for rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery. Like Warners, Sony isn't allowing anyone to see the numbers on Comscore.
The studio said the film's opening was strong. Every film in the marketplace face substantial challenges amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including reduced capacity. States still completely closed in terms of movie theaters include New York, Maryland, Michigan and New Mexico.
Sony domestic distribution chief Adrian Smith says he's confident that Broken Hearts Gallery will have an especially long run.
Despite being the only new title of the weekend, Broken Hearts Gallery came in behind holdovers The New Mutants and Unhinged in addition to Tenet.
New Mutants, from 20th Century/Disney, earned $2.1 million from 2,704 locations for a domestic tally of $15 .3 million after getting skewered by critics. Overseas, the superhero horror pic has earned $14 million for $29.3 million globally.
Starring Russell Crowe, Solstice Studios' Unhinged has grown its domestic gross to $13.8 million from 2,365 sites after taking in another $1.5 million over the weekend.