Warner Bros.’ ‘Tenet’ Holds Top Spot in US Despite Slow Second Weekend; ‘Mulan’ Opens in China
What a difference a week makes. After its highly anticipated US debut last weekend, when it raked in $20.2 million, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet couldn’t continue its momentum at home, pulling in just $6.7 million domestically in its sophomore session. The tally was still good enough for a first-place finish thanks to a lack of splashy new competition, but the Warner Bros. thriller dropped a steep -66.8% from the previous weekend. Playing in 2,810 theaters, Nolan’s film earned a $2,384 average and has a $29.5 million cumulative at the domestic box office.

However, the good news for Tenet is that overseas audiences continue to flock to the mind-scrambling epic which stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, and Elizabeth Debicki. The PG-13 film racked up a total of $37.3 million worldwide this weekend, helping to push its global box-office cumulative past the $200 million milestone to $207 million, with China leading the way. All told, the movie is now playing in 48 international markets on 52,913 screens.

In other hopeful news for Nolan & Co., Tenet will open in Israel, Japan, Mexico, Romania, and Uruguay later this week, and it will continue its monopoly on US moviegoers seeking big Hollywood blockbusters after Warner Bros. recently pushed back the release of Wonder Woman 1984 from October 2 to Christmas day. But another fall-off like this weekend’s may suggest that the studio’s COVID-era release strategy in the US failed to pay off in the way it had hoped.

Finishing in the runner-up slot once again was Fox’s The New Mutants. In its third week, the poorly reviewed PG-13-rated X-Men spin-off brought in an additional $2.1 million in the US, dropping -32.5% from the previous week at home. The New Mutants is playing in 2,704 theaters and had a $758 per-theater average. Its domestic total now stands at $15.3 million. The film added $3.8 million overseas, bringing its international cumulative to $14 million and its worldwide total to $29.3 million. New markets for the film this week included Korea and Germany.

In third place was Solstice Studios’ Unhinged with $1.5 million. In its fifth week of release, the R-rated road-rage thriller starring Russell Crowe played in 2,365 theaters. The film has grossed a total of $13.8 million domestically and $12 million overseas, bringing its impressive global cumulative box office to $25.8 million.

In fourth was Sony’s The Broken Hearts Gallery, the only new film to debut in the Top 5. The PG-13-rated romantic comedy written and directed by Natalie Krinsky and starring Geraldine Viswanathan managed to rack up $1.1m in 2,204 locations and currently has a 74% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The independently-produced rookie has yet to open internationally.

In fifth was United Artists’ Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the time-traveling dude comedy starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. In its third weekend, the PG-13 sequel added an underwhelming $260,000 in 807 theaters (a precipitous -66.4% drop-off), bringing its total domestic gross to $2.8 million. It has so far added $216,900 overseas.

Elsewhere, the big story was the debut of Disney’s live-action Mulan in China. While the PG-13-rated film is available in the US via Disney+ Premier Access, it had a strong opening in China, where it grossed an estimated $23.2 million, bringing its international box office total to $37.6 million. The film, which stars Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei in the title role (as well as Donnie Yen, Gong Li, and Jet Li), is now playing in 17 territories, including Russia, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, Ukraine, Poland, and South Africa, which were all added this week. Next weekend it will also open in Hong Kong and Korea.