‘Tenet’ Headed for Fourth Number One Weekend Ahead Of Newcomer ‘Shortcut’; Ruth Bader Ginsburg Doc and Biopic See Re-release
With Tenet having dipped below $5 million at the box office last weekend and the studios holding most of their major releases until at least late November, domestic box office is looking at a slow period ahead, with low- and medium-budget films that are poised to play more like Unhinged and The New Mutants than Tenet. Tenet should lead the weekend yet again; it has its sights on crossing $40 million this weekend, and it may be the only film to do so domestically for the next few months.

Gravitas Ventures is venturing into wide releases with Shortcut. In over 600 theaters, this horror movie is their widest release ever and is looking to score business from those looking for pre-Halloween scares.

Also opening wide this weekend are re-releases of two films to honor the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Magnolia Pictures documentary RBG and the Focus Features biopic On the Basis of Sex will both open on 1000 screens, giving RBG a wider re-release than its original release, which maxed out at 432 screens. Net proceeds from the re-releases will go to the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, which Ginsburg co-founded.

Another Focus release is Kajillionaire, opening limited. The Miranda July crime comedy stars Evan Rachel Wood. Produced by Plan B Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures, the film premiered at Sundance 2020 and is at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes from critic reviews.

Vertical Entertainment is opening the Jessica Chastain assassin flick Ava in limited release. Also debuting on VOD, the Tate Taylor directed film co-stars rapper Common, John Malkovich, and Colin Farrell.

With Tenet’s domestic box office figures so far, studios are rethinking how they want to handle their release strategies for the rest of the year. Disney has shuffled its slate this week, with Agatha Christie-based Death on the Nile leaving its October 23 opening for December 18, taking the place of Spielberg’s West Side Story adaption, which is being pushed back an entire year to December 10, 2021. Death on the Nile’s date is being filled by The Empty Man, a graphic novel horror adaptation that had most recently been scheduled for December 4. Marvel’s Black Widow is also vacating its 2020 opening, moving from November 6 to May 6, 2021, over a year after its originally planned May 1, 2020 release. The Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas-starring Deep Water bumped its date from November 13 to next August. Sony Pictures Animation’s Connected, which is the latest from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, was also scheduled for October 23, but is now expected later in the year at an unspecified date.

Not surprisingly, the big story in global box office is coming from China, as the local blockbuster The Eight Hundred ($425.7 million) has surpassed Bad Boys for Life ($424.6 million) as the year’s top grossing film worldwide.

Chinese cinemas are moving to 75% seat capacity this weekend, and their National Day holidays start next week, so box office should continue to be robust. Opening this weekend is the film Leap, a drama about the Chinese women's volleyball team starring Gong Li.