Weekend Box Office Forecast (Updated): Tenet Targets 5th Consecutive #1 Finish, Hocus Pocus Gets Re-Issue as Domestic Market Grinds to a Halt

Photo Credits: Hoyte van Hoytema & Warner Bros. ("Tenet"), dir. Christopher Nolan

Thursday, October 1: Our weekend forecast below has been updated to include Disney’s re-issue of Hocus Pocus, playing in an estimated 2,570 domestic theaters this weekend.

The list of estimated location counts has also been updated with studio-confirmed figures.

Wednesday, September 30: October is upon us, a time of year that exhibition had hoped would be marking the return of widespread moviegoing with the previously planned release of Wonder Woman 1984 this weekend.

Unfortunately, that’s not happening.

Following that film’s delay last month, and more in its wake since, theater owners are being left high and dry without the amount of new content once promised to them upon re-opening their doors with significant investments to provide a safe and healthy experience for consumers.

Studios are spooked by the ongoing pandemic and the lack of encouraging coverage coming out media hub cities, not all moviegoers are ready to return, and new content is slowing down. All of this comes despite the encouraging micro-trends from recent counter-programmers hitting cinemas.

Instead of beginning what was hoped to be the next phase of domestic box office recovery, we’re now looking at an autumn corridor that will see the market inevitably hit by regression.

As a result of the setbacks, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet remains an unchallenged box office champion. Last week saw positive openings by Break the Silence: The Movie and Disney’s 40th anniversary re-issue of The Empire Strikes Back, each earning estimated $1 million weekends. By contrast, Tenet posted a $3.4 million showing in its fourth full frame of wide release.

Declining less than 30 percent in each of its past few weekends, Nolan’s film remains the anchor of the North American (and global) market. The film reached $41.2 million stateside through Sunday, and $283 million worldwide through the same point. Last weekend’s domestic haul on the picture for the title accounted for 33 percent of the box office.

This weekend, we don’t currently expect new wide releases — although we’ll have more official insight on that come Thursday when studios report theater counts.

For now, Tenet remains the lone story of the box office as it eyes a fifth consecutive number one finish atop the domestic chart (unofficially, it may be the sixth, but the studio hasn’t detailed Canadian earnings from August 28 – 30).

The last film to hit that streak? Black Panther in February and March 2018. The most recent to achieve six consecutive weekends as the box office champion was Avatar in December 2009 through January 2010 (ultimately doing so for seven straight frames).

Estimated Domestic Location Counts (Subject to Updates)

  • Tenet (2,700+; unconfirmed)
  • Hocus Pocus (Re-Issue) (2,570)
  • The New Mutants (2,154)
  • Infidel (1,792)
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Re-Issue) (1,675)
  • Kajillionaire (547)
  • Save Yourselves (388)
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield (285)
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music (207)
  • A Call to Spy (75)

Weekend Forecast

Film Distributor 3-Day Weekend Forecast Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, October 4 % Change from Last Wknd
Tenet Warner Bros. $2,500,000 $45,100,000 -26%
The New Mutants Disney / 20th Century Studios $950,000 $21,000,000 -19%
Unhinged Solstice Studios $800,000 $18,500,000 -17%
Break the Silence: The Movie Trafalgar Releasing $575,000 $1,900,000 -42%
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Re-Issue) Disney / 20th Century Studios $490,000 $1,650,000 -46%
Infidel Cloudburst Entertainment $470,000 $3,550,000 -38%
Hocus Pocus (Re-Issue) Disney $400,000 $400,000 NEW
The Broken Hearts Gallery Sony / TriStar Pictures $330,000 $3,800,000 -34%
Shortcut Gravitas Ventures $175,000 $580,000 -43%
The Last Shift Sony Pictures $160,000 $520,000 -35%
Kajillionaire Focus Features $135,000 $465,000 -37%
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Paramount $100,000 $4,570,000 -30%

All forecasts subject to change before the first confirmation of weekend estimates from studios or alternative sources.

For press inquiries, please contact Shawn Robbins

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