‘Tenet’ to play at Los Angeles drive-ins after mediocre opening

  • “Tenet” will play at some drive-in theaters in and near Los Angeles this weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Warner Bros. had inititally mandated that the movie not play at drive-ins where traditional indoor theaters were not open.
  • But Warner Bros. seems to have reversed course after the movie opened to a tepid $20 million in the US and Canada over the Labor Day weekend.
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After a mediocre opening weekend at the domestic box office, Warner Bros. has seemingly reversed course on its decision to not play “Tenet” at drive-in theaters in and near Los Angeles where theaters are closed. 

The new Christopher Nolan movie will play at five drive-ins in the area this weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Warner Bros. had initially mandated that “Tenet” only play in drive-in theaters where traditional indoor theaters were open. Theaters in Los Angeles remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tenet” finally opened to a tepid response from audiences in the US over the Labor Day weekend, making $20.2 million domestically, which includes Canada. That’s not a disastrous outcome given the circumstances of the pandemic, in which some regions are still closed throughout the country, including New York, and those open have limited seating capacity. 

But it’s also not a celebratory outcome give that “Tenet” cost $200 million to produce and audiences don’t seem in much of a hurry to return to indoor theaters. The top 10 venues over the weekend for “Unhinged,” which opened last month, were all drive-ins, according to Exhibitor Relations.

The good news is that “Tenet” is faring better internationally, and has crossed $150 million at the global box office.

Warner Bros. has two other big-budget releases slated for theaters this year, “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Dune,” but Deadline reported on Wednesday that the studio would likely delay both. 

Warner Bros. did not return requests for comment for this story.

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