Hollywood analysts are watching the box office grosses of Tenet very closely. If Tenet becomes a hit despite the pandemic, more theatrical movies will follow. If audiences are slow returning to theaters, studios will almost certainly hold back their biggest titles until consumer confidence returned.

Many box-office reporters expected Tenet’s second weekend to effectively determine whether Warner Bros. would move ahead with its next top-tier title, Wonder Woman 1984But according to The Wall Street Journal, the decision’s already been made and the DC Comics’ sequel will not come out as planned on October 2. According to “a person familiar with the matter ... the studio, part of AT&T Inc., is moving Wonder Woman 1984 to a date later in the year.” They did not offer a specific time frame, but according to Variety the movie will now open on Christmas.

Thus far, Tenet has earned about $20.2 million in American theaters. That ranks among the absolute lowest openings of Christopher Nolan’s entire career; even Nolan’s Insomnia, made before he became famous for steering the Batman franchise, had a bigger opening weekend 20 years ago. Tenet has fared better overseas in places where the coronavirus is not as widespread, but its foreign grosses bring it to just $152 million worldwide to date.

Those numbers are okay for Tenet, a brainy thriller based on an original concept released in the middle of a pandemic. But those kinds of grosses would be disastrous for Wonder Woman, a mega-franchise based on a popular DC property. The first Wonder Woman made more than $820 million worldwide. It could be a while before we see it — or any comic book movies. At present, Marvel’s Black Widow is still officially scheduled for a release on November 6.

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