BOX OFFICE: “Unhinged” is doing fine, Warners and Sony hide figures for “Tenet” and “Broken Hearts Gallery”

Well, we’re looking at baseball, NBA, college football and possibly even pro football seasons that will wear an asterisk.

Why not the movie box office? The pandemic is keeping theaters closed — even open ones are operating at vastly reduced capacity — so it’s not really fair to compare “Tenet” now (a seriously fudged $20 million opening, Warners claimed last week) to what “Tenet” might have been.

On the other hand, it’d be a great indicator of whether people are feeling safer about going out and buying tickets. Nope. No numbers for “Tenet,” which is being allowed onto drive-ins (Warners, to their shame, refused to let it open on those) now that it got its head handed to it last weekend.

Sony has said it is joining in, hiding figures on a movie that wasn’t going to pack them in, even in the best of times. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” has a no-name/little-known cast, a thin romance built on a cute conceit. Mixed reviews. I didn’t warm to it.

No more. Warners isn’t announcing full, figures, now. They say that the film did $6.7 million, far below their announced $20 million last weekend. WB claims a 29% drop, which means it only earned $9-10 million US last weekend.

Why brag about it selling $2 million (tops) worth of tickets? As it turns out, they decided to report a $1.1 million opening.

“Unhinged,” on the other hand, is leaning into this box office wasteland. It’s playing at EVERY drive-in, and it is almost over $14 million after being the film that “reopened” theaters last month. Picking up a couple of million or so every week.

“New Mutants” bombed, as expected. “Mulan,” pulled from theatrical release in North America, has managed $37 million in theaters overseas, and is doing OK (Disney claims) on Disney+.

Totally understandable that others would conceal how badly their films are performing at the cinemas. The business model is shifting to streaming, no sense rubbing theater chains’ noses in it.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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