Theaters could use a little magic of their own.
I know the article title is sensational, and we'll get to that, but first let's say that Tenet has willed itself across the $300 million dollar mark at the global box office. We'll never have the exact numbers on the budget and marketing, but this kind of gross for a movie that cost at least $200 million to make is really bad.
In the US market, Tenet's competition are re-released movies, including Hocus Pocus, which was a complete flop when it came out in 1993 but has achieved cult status since then, and is doing well in the US now. In fact, the movie picked up $1.9 million from 2,570 theaters while Tenet only earned $2.7 million from 2,722 venues.
That's how bad things have been.
Tenet is neck and neck with a rerelease of a mediocre movie you can stream at home.
Altogether, Tenet has made $45.1 million domestically. You'd have to think at any other time in history that would be at least its opening weekend.
It's interesting that this movie was not held or sent to HBO Max to get subscribers, but with Christopher Nolan being such a proponent of theatrical distribution, it seems like he's made Tenet the sacrificial lamb to try to keep these places open.
But thanks to the pandemic, this would not have been enough. People are not going to the movies.
We know theater chains have been hit hard by anemic attendance, so much so that Cineworld is shuttering many Regal locations across the globe indefinitely.
The box office is in serious trouble.
And so is the theater business.