Movio cinema analytics corp tells Deadline that pre-sales for Christopher Nolan’s latest is outpacing his previous movies Interstellar and Dunkirk at the same point in their advance sales cycle for the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia.
In the UK and Australia, Movio measured two days before the pic’s opening this coming weekend, and for the U.S. a week prior to its early access Aug. 31 preview.
Stateside, Movio noticed that there’s been significantly more single ticket purchases for Tenet (55%) compared to Dunkirk (20%) and Interstellar (47%).
While the statistical notion has always been that advance tickets sales aren’t always a clear predictor of box office openings, in a pre-pandemic marketplace, that theory was continually dismissed as we’ve saw massive advance ticket sales for Disney and Marvel movies worth their weight in gold. Huge presales for the last two Avengers’ movies and Star Wars: The Force Awakens yielded record domestic box office openings.
Now, we may need to take advance ticket sales intel with a grain of salt. Big advance ticket sales markets like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are closed along with Seattle, Miami, Portland and Philadelphia in addition to full states New Jersey, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, Maryland, New Mexico, and, of course, New York and California.
Dunkirk opened in the U.S. on July 21, 2017 to $50.5M, beating its $35M-$40M forecast. The WWII epic posted a $13M opening in the UK and $4.75M start Down Under. Interstellar debuted to $47.5M 3-day in the U.S. ($49.7M 5-day) on Nov. 5, 2014, $8.5M in the UK and $3.6M in Australia. Nancy’s sources are spotting $25M for Tenet in its offshore debut this weekend in 40 markets.
Right now in the U.S., 45% of the pre-sales audience for Tenet are from Southern states, vs 35% for Dunkirk and 28% for Interstellar, natch, a result of that region being reopen.
Additionally, Tenet pre-sales appear to be underperforming in metropolitan markets at 22% versus 34% for Dunkirk and 39% for Interstellar. Two potential reasons for that, one being that some theaters are closed in metro areas, and the other potentially stemming from current pandemic moviegoing habits. During Canada’s first week, the biggest grosses came from the suburbs for Unhinged and SpongeBob Movie, versus the big cities where consumers are avoiding public transit.
Looking offshore, Tenet pre-sales in Australia are close to 29,000 two days before the pic’s release, verus 5,000-plus total pre-sales for Dunkirk and around 2,300 for Interstellar. Tenet‘s numbers in Australia are also besting Terminator: Dark Fate (around 2,000 total presales), John Wick: Chapter 3 (4,000 total sales) and Blade Runner 2049 (over 1,800). It is worth noting the significance of this considering cinemas in the state of Victoria are closed, which represents 26% of the screens and seats in Australia.
As of Aug. 24 in the UK there have already been nearly 11,000 pre-sale tickets purchased for Tenet, compared to 7,000 total presales for Dunkirk and 1,800 for Interstellar.
Who is scooping up tickets for Tenet? Moviegoers aged 45+ are a significantly smaller share of the pre-sales audience for Tenet than what Movio saw with Dunkirk. The cohort’s share of total presale audience for Tenet is roughly 10 ppts less than Dunkirk for all regions.
Tenet‘s presale audience is skewing male at roughly 70%-80% for all regions, which is on par with the pre-sales audience for Interstellar per Movio. The UK pre-sale audience plans to attend in larger groups than the US or Australia (2.24 admissions per visit in the UK vs 1.56 for US and 1.95 for Australia).
Advance ticket sales have been on sale in the U.S. for Warner’s early access screenings on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 2. As of today, per Fandango, advance ticket sales were made available for all showtimes (where theaters are open) thereafter for the pic’s Sept. 3 opening and beyond.
As a reminder, the box office for Tenet is not a sprint, but a marathon as a movie hasn’t had a rollout like this; in fact it’s different from the slow platforms last since during the early 1980s and 1970s when pics would start in key metropolitan areas and expand nationwide.