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Outlook still bleak for beleaguered US movie theaters

By The SATimes News Service

About three quarters of the country’s movie theaters are open, but Americans are not going back in significant numbers in the Covid-era, even with new films coming into the marketplace weekly.


The biggest movies continue to limp along. According to new studio estimates, Warner Bros’ ‘Tenet’ earned $4.7 million in its third weekend from nearly 2,930 locations, Disney’s The New Mutants added $1.6 million in its fourth weekend, Unhinged brought in $1.3 million and Sony’s rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery picked up an additional $800,000 in its second frame.


And newcomers aren’t faring any better. The faith-based Infidel, which stars Jim Caviezel, did the best with $1.5 million from just over 1,700 theaters.


This weekend also saw the limited release of two adult dramas, IFCs The Nest, with Jude Law and Carrie Coon, and Bleecker Streets The Secrets We Keep, with Noomi Rapace. Both played in under 500 theaters across the country and neither got much more than $200 per location.

There is no question that this is an extraordinarily challenging marketplace, especially for North America, said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscores senior media analyst. This is a slow roll out. It’s going to take some time.

The nation’s biggest chains have been open for about a month after nearly six months of being closed due to the pandemic and a lack of new releases. But since reopening with enhanced safety

measure and the promise of new blockbusters, they haven’t gotten the infusion of business they were hoping for. Indoor theaters are still not open in two of the country’s biggest markets, New York and Los Angeles.


Globally Tenet also managed to cross a major milestone this weekend: The $250 million mark.

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