While Tenet is injecting some life into overseas markets, its domestic performance raises questions about movie theaters in the United States. In its second weekend of domestic release, Tenet earned $6.7 million at the box office. Warner Bros. says that's down about 29% from its domestic opening weekend, meaning the film made about $9.5 million in its debut. That's a pretty dismal number for a highly anticipated blockbuster from a director with a following like Christopher Nolan has. These numbers may explain why Warner Bros. reversed its decision to keep Tenet out of drive-in theaters in Los Angeles, and why the studio postponed its next major release, Wonder Woman 1984, until Christmas Day.
ComcicBook.com spoke to stars John David Washington and Elizabeth Debicki about the movie. Debicki explained how she wrapped her head around the film's time travel mechanic.
"It's all in the script, which is sort of a remarkable," Debicki says. "It's like a blueprint of Christopher Nolan's brain. It's one of the most intense and complex and fascinating scripts I've ever read. Making it, I have to say really honestly, making it for me, I had to take it piece by piece and literally sometimes minute by minute. And by that, I mean sometimes before the camera rolled or someone said 'rolling', I would then run from my starting mark and I would run to Chris, and I would say 'Which direction?' Like, remind me, 'cause I don't want to, you know... So it was sort of like, piece by piece for me. But then when I watched the whole movie, I had kind of an experience in a way, strangely enough, almost like it was the first time I was seeing them. 'Cause it was the first time I was seeing all of it pieced together and sort of going, 'Oh, that's... Oh, I see, that's that?' And so there was a lot of that for me."
TENET scored $6.7M in its 2nd weekend domestically.
WB lists the drop as -29%.
That means Christopher Nolan's film "opened" with around $9.5M last weekend.
And that's why Wonder Woman 1984 is now set for December, folks.— Exhibitor Relations Co. (@ERCboxoffice) September 13, 2020
According to the film's official synopsis, "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.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Syncopy Production, a Film by Christopher Nolan, Tenet. Warner Bros. Pictures is distributing Tenet in theaters and IMAX worldwide. The film has been rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, suggestive references and brief strong language."
Tenet is now playing in theaters.