(LOS ANGELES) — Labor Day weekend gave us our first glimpse of life at the U.S. box office since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet opened with an estimated $20.2 million over the three-day weekend, despite major movie markets like New York, California, and New Jersey keeping their theaters shuttered to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The time-bending thriller, starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, and Elizabeth Debicki, debuted with an impressive $7,189 per-theater average over the long holiday weekend.

Tenet was initially slated to arrive in theaters on July 17, but was later postponed until July 31, then August 12, and finally August 28 — though only overseas, where it has pulled in $126 million over two weekends for a total of $146.2 million.

Finishing in second place was Fox’s The New Mutants, which opened with a disappointing $7 million last weekend.  The X-Men spin-off grabbed an estimated $3.6 million over the Labor Day weekend. It’s now collected $12.35 million here in the States, with an additional $8.5 million overseas for a worldwide total of $20.85.

In third place was the Russell Crowe thriller Unhinged, delivering an estimated $2.2 million in its fourth week of release.  The film has earned a total of $11.83 million from 2,754 theaters stateside and $12 million overseas, bringing its global earnings to $23.83 million.

Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third chapter in the Bill & Ted franchise, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, pulled in an estimated $809,794 from 953 theaters, bringing its total U.S. gross to $2.3 million.

Rounding out the top five was The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which delivered an estimated $470,000 from 304 theaters.  The animated feature’s total domestic earnings total $3.44 million. It has yet to open overseas.

By George Costantino
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