Despite months of hype, Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending Tenet just manages to deliver a modest $10 million at the opening weekend.
Christopher Nolan‘s widely awaited and quite mysterious Tenet only managed to accumulate $10 million during its opening weekend. Major hopes were laid on the project that marked Nolan’s eleventh big-screen effort to date.
As yet another victim of the coronavirus pandemic, Tenet’s release date got pushed back multiple times over the summer. Nolan, meanwhile, remained adamant despite all the challenges triggered by the pandemic, as well as the worldwide lock-down initiatives.
— Warner Bros. SG (@WarnerBrosSG) September 10, 2020
With theaters ordered to shut in several countries across the world, it was initially a viable alternative for the movie to be released via VOD – a common platform for many other productions that had their summer releases derailed.
Nolan, though, did not want to follow that path, as Tenet was being billed as a fantastic summer film that demanded the experience of a theater release.
It was anticipated by those concerned with the release that the film could be a tool for getting viewers back to theaters, irrespective of the fact that coronavirus was not yet under control.
Unfortunately, while many reviewers and fans appreciated Tenet, its opening weekend struggled to show the viewers were back.
As per a recent piece from IndieWire, Tenet’s opening weekend in North America culminated in a strikingly low $10 million collection.
This contradicts the original claims by Warner Bros., who reported the film earned $20 million over the weekend. However, since Warner did not split the total by days, the number simply comprised Thursday’s opening, 3 days of sneak previews, and 9 days in Canada, as well as Labor Day holidays in both the United States and Canada.
While these early projections were not clear on this matter, neither a $10 million nor a $20 million opening weekend is on par with Tenet’s expected returns.
The opening census seems to be a significant decline for Warner Bros., as well as for Nolan. But financial affairs of this nature should not be purely mistaken for Tenet being unworthy of a spectacle.
Due to theaters closing, 25 percent of potential viewers in North America have not been able to see the film that is a big part of the cinema-going crowd. Moreover, bar cities where Tenet was being shown in theatres, the worries of COVID-19 meant people opted to stay at home rather than heading to the cinemas.
In the end, the inability of the picture to make its desired impact has undoubtedly demonstrated that most of the world is still not in a position where a return to pre-COVID days is feasible.
In TENET (2020), Christopher Nolan decided to blow up an an actual Boeing 747 because it was 'more efficient' than CGI. The crew also got some money back by selling some unused parts of the plane pic.twitter.com/hh86fugMrJ
— Movie Details (@moviedetail) September 9, 2020
Worst of all, if the anticipated hit like Tenet can’t get large audiences back to the movie theaters again, other future movies like Wonder Woman 1984, and Dune will definitely face lots of challenges of their own.
With these box office figures now set to affect the fate of movie theaters as well as upcoming Hollywood releases, the issue of whether or not Nolan was correct to dismiss the VOD alternative remains debatable.
It’s true that restoring Tenet’s huge budget (roughly calculated to be about $200 million) would have been most likely impossible through VOD, but at the very least, the film could have been watched by many more viewers.