‘Tenet’ Got Box Office Boost From Moviegoers Crossing State and County Lines

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With theaters in many major cities closed, cinemas in nearby markets have reported stronger-than-expected turnout

Melinda Sue Gordon / Courtesy of Warner Bros.

While just over 2,800 theaters in the U.S. and Canada were open this weekend for the release of “Tenet,” that did not include major cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Based on early data, those pandemic closures may have sent many cinephiles on the road to find a theater where they could see Christopher Nolan’s latest film. While Warner Bros. declined to comment for this story, studio insiders tell TheWrap that top markets for “Tenet” on this Labor Day weekend included New Jersey, Connecticut, and California theaters that reopened in San Diego and Napa counties. All these markets are adjacent to major cities that still have non-drive-in theaters closed due to high COVID-19 infection rates, making likely that moviegoers from neighboring counties and states are driving farther than they usually would for a night at the movies.

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