'Tenet' Revives Box Office, Now Nears $150 Million Internationally

'Tenet' Revives Box Office, Now Nears $150 Million Internationally

Ticket sales for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic 'Tenet' continue to increase despite the pandemic.

Tenet has brought the box office to life since its release, with ticket sales continuing to soar high despite the pandemic.

As of this writing, the mind-bending sci-fi thriller nears a $150 Million mark globally since its release, and the figures continue to rise.

Tenet earned another $78.3 million in the international box office this weekend, bringing its worldwide revenue to $146.2 million.

Tenet's sales are still not at par with Nolan's previous films like The Dark Knight, Dunkirk, and Inception, albeit its performance is remarkable considering cinemas are still returning to normalcy following the global health crisis.


In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, Warner Bros. expressed that they were “very pleased” with Tenet's initial box office results and pointed out that the film's performance should not be compared to anything before the pandemic.

“There is literally no context in which to compare the results of a film opening during a pandemic with any other circumstance,” Warner Bros. said as published via Variety.

“We are in unprecedented territory, so any comparisons to the pre-COVID world would be inequitable and baseless.”

Tenet's domestic debut includes ticket sales from preview screenings in the U.S. and Canada.

The spy film arrived in the US on September 3, almost two weeks after it's international release on August 23. This is the first Hollywood blockbuster to open in US cinemas since the coronavirus pandemic, generating $20.2 million over Labor Day weekend.

David A. Gross, a box office analyst at FranchiseRe, describes Tenet's US numbers as 'fair opening' considering the current situation.

“With a significant number of key U.S. states and cities still closed, this is a fair opening,” David said.

“Business in the U.S. is improving, but large numbers of moviegoers are not back yet. For now, this is as good as it gets.”


About 65-70% of multiplexes in the U.S. have reopened. However, influential markets like New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco are still closed, slashing millions of possible revenue for the film.

During the pandemic, drive-in theaters became a popular destination for moviegoers who wanted to enjoy movies in the comfort of their cars. However, Warner Bros. issued strict guidelines when it comes to showing Tenet on Drive-ins. Only drive-in theaters with open indoor venues in that particular city can screen the film. This means that Tenet is not available on drive-ins in Los Angeles and San Fransisco, where ticket sales during the pandemic significantly increased.

With a production cost of $200 Million, Tenet still has a long way to go and will only be considered a film success if it reaches a $450 Million mark.

Fortunately, the numbers are telling us that Tenet is on track. Without much competition from other Hollywood films, Warner Bros is expecting for Tenet to play in theaters for the months to come.

Tenet's major competitor, Disney's live-action Mulan, has decided to skip the big screens and launched on the Disney plus channel instead. The film is available on the streaming service for $30. Mulan will, however, open in cinemas in places where Disney plus is not available.

Tenet is still available in cinemas worldwide.

Recommended for you