Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” inched past the $350 million mark at the global box office, taking in $2.1 million in its 11th weekend in theaters to earn a global cume of $350.9 million.
Meanwhile, the pandemic box office has given Focus Features back-to-back No. 1 weekends with two different films for the first time in studio history. After the horror film “Come Play” opened atop the charts last weekend with just $3.1 million, the Thomas Bezucha drama “Let Him Go” took the top spot this weekend with a domestic opening of $4.1 million from 2,454 theaters.
Starring Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Lesley Manville, “Let Him Go” follows a retired sheriff and his wife who, after the death of their son, risk everything to save their daughter-in-law and grandson from a dangerous off-grid family. Its opening weekend is the highest total for any film at the box office in the past six weeks and has earned a 78% audience score and 75% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Despite the pandemic, Focus Features has steamed forward on releasing films in theaters, thanks in good part to the landmark theatrical window deal made between its parent company, Universal Pictures, and the nation’s largest theater chain, AMC. The deal allows Universal and Focus films to screen at AMC locations and then get early release on premium video on-demand after three weekends of theatrical exclusivity, with AMC receiving a portion of the PVOD sales. Universal is expected to use that model in the coming months, including on the DreamWorks Animation release “The Croods: A New Age” and the expected Oscar contender “News of the World.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the movie theater industry waits to see how the results of the election will impact talks on a pandemic stimulus package, which has been at a stalemate for several months. While Joe Biden was successful in his presidential campaign against Donald Trump, Republicans chipped away at the Democrats’ House majority and, pending the results of a runoff election in Georgia, have staved off a Democrat majority in the Senate. With Congress still gridlocked next year, the details of a stimulus package that industry lobbyists say is necessary for thousands of theaters to avoid bankruptcy will be significantly affected.