John David Washington’s ‘Tenet’ has strong debut at the box office


After delaying to open in the states due to COVID-19, John David Washington‘s long-awaited new film, Tenet, opened over the weekend in the United States, grossing $20 million in box office sales and $146.2 million worldwide. 

John David Washington (center) starring in “Tenet,” Christopher Nolan’s new time-bending action thriller. (Warner Bros.)

Washington stars in Tenet, the first blockbuster to open nationwide since the coronavirus pandemic began. Directed by Christopher Nolan and also starring Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki, it opened internationally on Aug. 28th, earning $53 million. According to reports, box office numbers are down due to social distancing in movie theaters, but ticket sales are higher than expected. 

The Warner Bros. sci-fi action mystery is about a secret agent (John David Washington) who embarks on a mission that impacts the entire world. The characters in Tenet become entangled in a time-bending journey that will rewrite history. 

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“Christopher Nolan has once again delivered an event-worthy motion picture that demands to be seen on the big screen, and we are thrilled that audiences across the globe are getting the opportunity to see Tenet,” Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. Pictures chairman, told Variety.

Cinema operators are reportedly taking extra measures to ensure moviegoers feel safe going back to theaters as the world heals and works to prevent the continued spread of the coronavirus.

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Critics called Tenet one of the most anticipated films of 2020, and Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at, contends it will be a part of our “road to recovery.”

The closing of movie houses due to COVID-19 precautions has led to studios delaying the release of many productions, while others have been released on streaming services. 

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Experts say the future for movie-going and entertainment post-COVID-19 is a whole new world with endless possibilities.

“It may take time to pan out, but that road starts with movies like Tenet. Just to have it playing in theaters right now is a huge upturn for the film industry,” Robbins told CNN Business.

“It’s the kind of film that inspires discussion and debate among those who have seen it,” he said, “and that kind of intrigue is exactly the thing which may amplify pent-up demand for going back to the movies.”

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