Almost three-quarters of U.S. movie theaters were opened for the Labor Day holiday weekend, with the total movie box-office earning $28.1 million -- 76% below the Labor Day weekend total a year ago, according to IMDb Box Office Mojo.
This comes after six months of theater closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The return of big movies this year came with the Warner Bros. highly touted thriller “Tenet” which posted $20.2 million in revenue for the four-day holiday weekend. A year ago on Labor Day weekend, “Angel Has Fallen” was the best performer, taking in $15.4 million.
This year, four other movies came in well behind “Tenet” -- Twentieth Century Fox’s “The New Mutants” ($3.7 million); Solstice Studios’ “Unhinged” ($2.2 million); United Artists’ “Bill & Ted Face The Music” ($809,794); and Fox Searchlight’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield” ($430,000).
This Labor Day weekend had 17 movie releases versus 82 a year ago, when total box-office revenue totaled $120.8 million. The $28.1 million total was up from the $12.5 million the previous week.
The opening of “Tenet” was the biggest wide-release Hollywood weekend since the March 6-8 weekend, when Walt Disney Studios’ animated “Onward” pulled in $39.1 million on the weekend.
National CineMedia, the in-theater/cinema advertising network, estimates 70% of U.S. movie theater opened for Labor Day weekend.
Three states -- New York, North Carolina and New Mexico -- had movie theaters that remain fully closed. One of the biggest states, California, had a partial opening, with theaters now resuming operation in San Diego, for example.
“Tenet” pulled an additional $126 million internationally through its first two weekends of release, now with a global total of $146.2 million.
NCM’s advertising-supported 20-25 minute pre-show, Noovie -- which runs in theaters before a film begins -- had advertisers for Labor Day Weekend that included: Mars; Mars Wrigley (Extra); Unilever (Dove); Progressive Insurance; Ford Motor; AT&T; and Heineken.
On a season-to-date basis, the U.S. box office is now at $1.84 billion down 77% from 2019’s $7.9 billion mark.