Here we are, at the end of yet another weekend trying to find the silver lining on an ever-darkening box office cloud. Sure, Warner Bros. Tenet is still at the top of the box office chart, with 20th Century Studios’ The New Mutants and Solstice Studios’ Unhinged rounding out the top three. But those rankings lose some shine when we get down into the nitty-gritty (more on that in a sec). Theaters across the U.S. feel the hurt of pandemic-affected attendance more and more with every passing day. That hurt will continue to grow as new releases grow fewer and further between, and none of them the tentpoles needed to provide the shot of life the box office so sorely needs.
So, with all of this in mind, where do we stand in the final weekend of September? Tenet is still holding on to #1 with $3.4 million domestic earned from 2,850 locations in its fourth week — another hefty 28% drop from last week. There are still key U.S. markets, primarily Los Angeles and New York, which remain closed for the most part and continue to be a thorn in Tenet‘s side on this front. This brings Christopher Nolan‘s newest movie’s domestic total up to $41.2 million. Internationally, Tenet earned $15.8 million this weekend, which takes its overseas total to $242 million and global total to $283.2 million.
As noted by Forbes, Tenet‘s domestic box office showing in its fourth week has earned it an unusual accolade (of sorts): It is the lowest-grossing chart-topper for a movie showing in wide release in over 30 years. The last time this happened, the year was 1988 and the movie was Gorillas in the Mist: The Adventure of Diane Fossey. The Universal Pictures release hit #1 in its second weekend but sat in the top spot with a domestic total of just $3.45 million. Now, 32 years later, Tenet is the latest movie to be a wide release with the top spot on the box office chart despite a domestic total of less than $4 million. Whew.
Where the rest of the box office top five is concerned, there are some interesting results to be had. As previously mentioned, The New Mutants hold on to #2 with $1.15 million earned in its fifth week, bringing its domestic total up to $19.5 million despite that sharp 30% week-to-week drop. Unhinged sits at #3 with $1 million earned, moving its domestic total up to $17.1 million after more than two months in theaters. The intriguing entry in this weekend’s race is #4’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, which is back in theaters for its 40th anniversary. Episode V earned $908,000 domestic from 2,097 locations, averaging $433 per theater.
Other highlights from this weekend’s box office include Miranda July‘s latest, Kajillionaire, opening in 529 theaters and pulling in $215,000 domestic. It’s also a good weekend to be Richard Jenkins because not only can you see him in Kajillionaire, but you can also check him out in the #8 movie of the weekend, The Last Shift, which pulled in $235,000 from 837 locations. Finally, The Personal History of David Copperfield has dropped to #10. The Charles Dickens-inspired Dev Patel comedy closes out its fifth week in theaters with just $55,000 earned, bringing its domestic total to $1.8 million.
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Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.