Moviegoing audiences in North America are not rushing back to the theater just yet. In the second major weekend for U.S. and Canadian movie theaters, Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” earned only $6.7 million from 2,910 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday. Warner Bros’ sci-fi thriller was viewed as the major litmus test for whether audiences were ready to embrace the theatrical experience again, after nearly six months of shuttered theaters due to COVID-19.
Although it is enough to top the charts, it also isn’t enough to jumpstart the struggling domestic exhibition industry. Even Warner Bros.' has already pushed back its next major release, “Wonder Woman 1984,” even further.
The weekend’s only major new opener was Sony’s PG-13 rom-com “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” which earned an estimated $1.1 million from 2,204 North American locations. The film, from first-time writer director Natalie Krinsky and executive produced by Selena Gomez, is about a 20-something gallerist played by Geraldine Viswanathan who creates an art exhibit with souvenirs from her past relationships.
The studio is optimistic about its performance and potential.
“The early numbers are really encouraging,” said Adrian Smith, the president of president of Sony Pictures domestic distribution.
Smith noted that the film will have a slow roll out as more theaters continue to open in the U.S. Approximately 74% of the domestic market is currently open, operating at limited capacity and with limited showtimes. Two of the country’s biggest markets, New York and Los Angeles, remain closed. Other still-closed markets include North Carolina, Michigan, New Mexico and the cities of Seattle and Portland.
Other notable domestic weekend numbers include Disney’s “The New Mutants,” which added $2.1 million from 2,704 locations in its third weekend and Solstice’s Russell Crowe pic “Unhinged,” which earned an additional $1.5 million in week four.