Box Office: ‘Tenet’ Can Save The World, But ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ May Save America

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as the first wide theatrical release after the mid-March lockdown, would now open August 21. Ditto Warner Bros.’ tenth-anniversary rerelease of Chris Nolan’s Inception. The former, a Russell Crowe road-rage thriller which has been playing in Germany for the last week, was initially slated for July 1 and then moved to July 10, July 31 and now August 21. The Inception reissue came about as a consolation prize after Warner Bros. delayed Tenet from July 17 to July 31, instead slotting the Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster ($292 million domestic and $824 million worldwide in 2010) for July 17. There’s no word on whether the movie initially scheduled for August 21, Lionsgate’s slavery era horror flick Antebellum, will remain on the slate.https://9db7e041ba42d420b64549fc8f921e6e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

We don’t know how wide the domestic release of Tenet will be beginning September 3, namely whether it’s very much a limited release or merely as many theaters as can safely/legally show it. The schedule as it stands is Unhinged and Inception on August 21, The New Mutants on August 28, Tenet on September 3, The Kings Man on September 18, Greenland (which opens overseas tomorrow) on September 25 and Wonder Woman 1984 on October 2. While Tenet is being looked at as the potential savior of the global theatrical industry, Gal Gadot’s superhero sequel could be just as important, especially in North America. While Tenet may or may not play in much of America, I’m presuming Wonder Woman 1984 (opening one month later)is planning on a conventional global release.

While very successful overseas ($409 million), Wonder Woman was a rare tentpole blockbuster that earned over 50% of its money in America, which was more about the Gal Gadot flick over performing domestically ($412.5 million from a $103.5 million opening weekend) than any softness in foreign box office. The hope is that, like many sequels of its ilk, Wonder Woman 1984 will increase its overseas footprint compared to its predecessor, perhaps compensating for a reasonable domestic downturn, but that’s not set in stone. While solo superhero movies have become as huge in China as they are in North America, with Venom ($272 million) Aquaman ($298 million), Captain Marvel ($154 million) and Spider-Man: Far from Home ($200 million) soaring above the over/under $125 million benchmark, the genre is not bulletproof.

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