Tenet has now crossed the $280 million mark at the global box office. The Christopher Nolan film brought in an additional $19 million worldwide this weekend, including a $3.4 million domestically -- a number that bumps the Warner Bros. film to $41 million total domestic in its fourth week. In the United States, Tenet tops the box office with those numbers, even as the industry continues to struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued closure of many movie theaters -- and low turnout in those that are open for business.
Tenet's box office performance continues to raise questions about how ready audiences really are to return to movie theaters as the pandemic continues. While Warner Bros. had hoped Tenet would be the film that heralded a return to normal, it's instead served as a canary in the coal mine, with its tepid performance -- especially domestically -- serving as something of a cautionary tale. While $280 million globally during a pandemic isn't necessarily a bad number, it's a far cry from what the film was expected to make pre-COVID. Since Tenet's release, a number of other major releases -- including Warner Bros. upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 -- have seen their release dates pushed back deeper into the year. In the case of Marvel's Black Widow, that film was moved into 2021.
Not helping the situation is that movie theaters in major markets continue to be closed. Movie theaters in both New York and Los Angeles remain closed and even in areas where theaters have resumed operation, it's at lower capacity to allow for social distancing and other safety measures. It's a situation that has impacted all films releasing during this time, but for a film like Tenet -- which had a budget of around $200 million -- the impact is especially noteworthy.
In Tenet "John David Washington is the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan's original sci-fi action spectacle Tenet. Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time. Not time travel. Inversion.
The film also stars Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. Nolan wrote and directed the film, which was produced by Emma Thomas and Nolan. Thomas Hayslip served as executive producer. Nolan's behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema, production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Jennifer Lame, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson, and special effects supervisor Scott Fisher. Ludwig Göransson composed the score."
Tenet is now playing in theaters.