“Tenet” earned $8.61 million, according to the China Box Office service of Ent Group. Including earlier previews, its total stood at $9.11 million.
That was a 50% share of Friday’s revenues so far and was earned from 43% of available screens nationwide. Chinese cinemas are operating with physical distancing restrictions that currently limit seating capacity to 50% of any auditorium.
Maoyan, one of China’s two largest cinema ticketing firms, showed almost identical figures. Once a film has opened, Maoyan also makes public forecasts that are based on a combination of actual sales, forward bookings, user ratings, and marketing activity.
For the film’s lifetime theatrical box office, Maoyan is forecasting gross revenues of RMB455.3 million ($66.5 million). That could be enough to make China the film’s highest grossing territory. But it won’t be the biggest film of the year in the Middle Kingdom.
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“The Eight Hundred” which slipped to second place Friday, after two weeks on top, has already reached RMB2.24 billion ($327 million). Maoyan forecasts that it will continue to play strongly enough to earn a RMB2.8 billion ($409 million) lifetime total.
On Friday, “The Eight Hundred” came in second place with RMB57 million ($8.3 million) of revenue, just a hair less than “Tenet.” That represented 41% market share, earned from 36% of available screens.
So far, “Tenet” has been warmly accepted. Maoyan shows that 71% of the 7,000 users that rated the film on its site gave it a 9 or 10 out of 10, for an average score of 8.7. Users on rival ticketing platform Taopiaopiao gave it an 8.9 score, while those on film fan site Douban scored it at 8.2.
The recent weakness of the US dollar may also give rights owner Warner Bros a small fillip. At RMB6.84 to the dollar, the greenback is 3% weaker than where it was at the beginning of July, when the American currency bought RMB7.06.