Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s new film, was supposed to give the film world hope. It is the first major blockbuster to hit theaters since the outbreak of the current pandemic. But despite the good reviews, the film seems to flop, even by pandemic standards.
The action film is an important indicator for all of Hollywood. An indication of whether Disney and Co. have to keep postponing their blockbusters, as they did in recent months, or whether a very expensive movie today can still make a profit.
Tenet: gauge for all of Hollywood
Much to the frustration of the competition, Warner Bros. however, fewer box office figures have come out in recent weeks than is usual.
Now that the latest figures are finally in, a painful picture is emerging. First the good news: Tenet has been number one for the fourth week in a row, practically everywhere the film is screened. Anyway, that’s not too difficult if your main competition is re-released classics and football matches.
The global counter of Tenet stands at a paltry $ 238.2 million at the film’s box office. Many smaller films would sign for that, but this production of Christopher Nolan was budgeted for more.
Producing the film alone cost $ 200 million, according to experts. You usually have to at least double a movie’s budget to get to the final cost. Think of marketing, for example. Of course, cinemas also receive part of the turnover.
Long story short: Tenet must raise a lot more than $ 238.2 million to get out of costs, let alone turn a profit. Only when the $ 500 million barrier is broken will Warner Bros. even according to experts.
Certainly with a director like Christopher Nolan you are more ambitious as a studio than that. Warner Bros. and other major Hollywood studios weren’t created just to recoup the costs.
No room for blockbusters?
It seems to indicate that the market is not yet ready for major blockbusters. From a business point of view, it is simply not smart to shoot your powder now, especially since you can assume that the pandemic will flare up further in the winter. On the other hand: especially now that there are few blockbusters, the films that do come out can continue to run extra long. Perhaps running Tenet simply a much longer race than we are used to.
Marvel has already shifted its major titles to 2021. Think of Black Widow and Eternals. One of the few mega-blockbusters still planned for this year is No Time to Die, the last Bond movie starring Daniel Craig as 007.
James Bond and No Time To Die
For the time being, that film will officially be released in November. The big question now is whether it will stay that way. In any case, the James Bond franchise appeals to a wider audience than Tenet. But Tenet’s figures paint a picture in which even a new Bond film will have a hard time. Maybe they would have better had Frank Lammers – Ferry Bouman from Undercover – as a villain. He previously indicated that he would like that role.
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