U.S. Box Office Struggles to Recover During Pandemic
Want to know why Wonder Woman 1984 and Candyman suddenly left their October release dates last week? Just take a look at the weekend box office chart. The top film in the country was once again Tenet, but it grossed just $6.7 million, bringing its ten-day domestic total to $29.5 million. While the film has made more than $200 million worldwide and should clear $300 million total when all is said and done, that’s well below the $520 million the less commercial Dunkirk grossed in 2017 — and far below what a movie the size of Tenet needs to earn to become a profitable hit.
And that was as close to good news as there is in the box office world. Here’s the weekend top five, courtesy of Box Office Mojo, where just three films made more than $1 million in theaters last weekend:
- Tenet - $6.7 million
- The New Mutants - $2.0 million
- Unhinged - $1.5 million
- The Broken Hearts Gallery - $855,000
- Bill and Ted Face the Music - $260,000
According to Indiewire, “domestic theater total gross this weekend will fall short of $15 million. Roughly, that suggests perhaps $5,000 per theater — not enough to cover operating expenses.” Meaning every day theaters are open right now, they are losing money.
Even worse, with Wonder Woman 1984 and Candyman gone, the next big movie on the schedule is now Black Widow on November 6 from Disney — who has yet to release a blockbuster to theaters during the pandemic, and chose to put Mulan on premium VOD instead. If they release Black Widow on VOD or postpone it entirely, that leaves almost nothing new on the books through Thanksgiving, when No Time to Die is currently scheduled. That would leave theaters without big new movies for almost two months when they’re already struggling to turn a profit. This could get very grim, very fast.
Gallery — Every Christopher Nolan Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best: