Analyst Believes TENET Box Office Numbers Are a Positive Sign for Theaters

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Analyst Believes TENET Box Office Numbers Are a Positive Sign for Theaters

By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer

Warner Bros. TENET box office numbers don’t look all that great to the general public. However, one analyst says the domestic numbers are positive for the future of theaters.

Riley analyst Eric Wold wrote in a Monday report, “We actually view the results as encouraging and a positive indicator of demand given all of the COVID-19 headwinds.”

The Hollywood Reporter said that TENET dropped 29 percent in box office sales from the three-day Labor Day weekend, where it made $9.4 million, to this past weekend where it raked in $6.7 million.

Wold argued, “Acknowledging that it is not entirely apples-to-apples, we also feel the roughly 29 percent drop from last weekend’s three-day total is a sign of potentially longer theatrical legs as moviegoers adjust.”

He also mentioned his predictions for TENET’s pre-pandemic opening weekend box office tally. The numbers he presents indicate that director Christopher Nolan’s opening weekend really wasn’t all that bad when accounting for certain market closures.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were anticipating an opening weekend for Tenet in the $50 million-$55 million range. Accounting for the lack of New York City, L.A. and San Francisco (which drive about 25 percent of domestic box office) and the roughly 50 percent capacity restrictions, that would generate an adjusted opening of about $18.8 million-$20.6 million — with the $20.2 million opening at the high-end of that range.”

Not all analysts agree with Wold’s take though.

Movieguide® previously reported that Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations said, “As we’ve seen with the lackluster TENET debut—New York and L.A. are the sun and moon of the box office solar system.”

Bock argueS that other blockbusters should hold off and wait to release until those markets open.

Others argue that the more theaters that open combined with less product from Hollywood could allow TENET to see a longer run-time with a chance to make even more money.

Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer of the National Association of Theater Owners, said, “The major markets that haven’t opened yet are all areas where a Christopher Nolan film would do well. As more open, there’s a real runway for TENET to continue doing well.”

Wold sees a bright future for the box office in 2021, that now has a huge slate of movies to be released due to pushbacks.

“While there remains a number of headwinds (e.g., major markets remaining closed, capacity restrictions, film slate shifts, etc.), we actually see some encouraging signs from the early weeks that continue to give us optimism heading into 2021-plus,” he said.