Cinemascore, which typically polls theaters in Washington, New York, and California, is off-kilter, with the Nolan movie earning a B; the director typically earns a B+ or A. Remember, only 65% of the domestic marketplace is open, with auditorium capacities ranging from 25% to 40%. I drove four hours from LA to see Tenet in San Diego, CA at an AMC that had full COVID-19 safety protocols.
Tenet has a 79% Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and a 74% RT rating. That latter rating needs to be taken with a grain of salt, as Los Angeles and New York critics weren't cleared to see the movie in advance since the pic wasn't opening in their market. As such, media outlets in those markets had to tap freelancers to see the film, yielding a wide range of responses.
Advance tickets sales aren't a clear barometer, even though everyone is going ticketless in the COVID-19 era. Big presale hubs San Francisco, LA, and NYC are closed down. Recently, Movio told us that Tenet presales were outstripping Dunkirk and Interstellar in the US, UK and Australia.
Warners opted for an 11-day opening, starting in Canada. We heard that Tenet was No. 1 in Canada last weekend.
It's a solid number when you come to think about it, and the best grosses we've seen from a movie to date during the pandemic, higher than The New Mutants and Unhinged.
Also, we need to take into account that it is Labor Day weekend, and even though we didn't have a summer blockbuster season, audiences are distracted as usual with barbecues and beaches.
Drive-ins in Los Angeles were impacted by 100-degree heat.