Why 'Unhinged' Box Office Opening Breathes New Hope for Movie Theater Recovery

"Right now, the word of mouth isn't so much about the movies in theaters as it is the experience of going to the movies," Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian tells TheWrap

For months, distribution execs and movie theater owners have had no idea what the box office will look like in the pandemic era. This past weekend, the numbers finally gave them a reason for optimism.

Solstice Studios' "Unhinged," the first wide release in North America since the start of the pandemic, made a respectable $4 million from its opening on 1,823 screens, as theaters in a majority of U.S. states got back in business. Meanwhile, the opening weekend of Huayi Brothers' "The Eight Hundred" was an unqualified success, earning $116 million in China and giving the country its first box office hit of the year after the pandemic crippled the cinema industry for seven months.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster