The Robert De Niro comedy The War With Grandpa from 201 Studios wrested the top spot from Warner Bros.’ Tenet at the domestic weekend box office with a projected $3.6 million in ticket sales in its theatrical debut, according to industry reports. Tenet generated $2.1 million in its seventh week of release. The Christopher Nolan espionage thriller has generated $48.3 million in the United States and $323.3 million globally.
Despite 86% of U.S. screens operating, albeit under strict social distancing and public health safeguards, the exhibition business continues to be devastated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, wary consumers and theaters closures in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Just seven Regal Cinemas locations remained open after the No. 2 exhibitor re-shuttered all North American operations indefinitely Oct. 8, citing a lack of major studio new releases.
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Without a COVID-19 vaccine and major blockbuster titles, moviegoers in the U.S. seem cautious about returning to the cineplex.
“People aren’t dying to see movies,” Michael Pachter, media analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in an email.