It ain’t pretty for U.S. theaters. With major release pushing back as studios scramble away from Tenet‘s poor performance US movie chains have very little to look forward to and will struggle to even make operating costs. This weekend is a perfect highlight of this as the entire US box office was under $15 million with Tenet only pulling in $6.7 million. That puts the film at around $29.5 million, a paltry sum for a major Christopher Nolan release.
Now, the film does have around $300 million globally, which means it could claw its money back slowly. WB is hoping that as more theaters open across the US people trickle in and they should see some higher returns on streaming/rentals given no one saw it in theaters so it may still be profitable in the long run but… this just shows it’s not smart to release your big movie in theaters right now. Disney made the right choice in moving Mulan to streaming even it it whiffed with it in China.
The newcomer to the party, The Broken Hearts Gallery, pulled in a woeful (even for these circumstances) $1.125 million. That’s only $500 per-theater! Nothing else fared that well either, though The New Mutants can still claim a spot in the top two if that’s any comfort for the woe begotten film.
Believe it or not, this is probably not the worst news for Disney. Mulan struggled in China. Disney basically made this film for China as it works to become the cultural leader in that country it is around the rest of the world. The Chinese box office is set to become more important than the US and this was Disney’s big kick-off part. It didn’t work, with the film only generating $23.2M.
At this rate, I might be putting this post on hiatus again (after only two updates!) sometime soon.