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SYFY WIRE Box Office

Box office: Disney's The Empty Man summons $1.3 million in domestic debut; Tenet hits $341 million globally

By Josh Weiss
The Empty Man James Badge Dale

For the last two months, Tenet and The New Mutants have been the only new genre releases playing in theaters around the world. Now there's a new contender in town: Disney's The Empty Man. Released under the recently rebranded 20th Century Studios banner, the horror film debuted at the domestic box office to $1.3 million, Variety confirms.

Modeled in the same vein as Slenderman, the film (written and directed by David Prior) is based on the BOOM! Studios comic book of the same name by Cullen Bunn and Vanesa R. Del Rey. The story follows a retired police officer (James Badge Dale) looking into the mysterious disappearances of local teens. What he discovers is a clandestine group trying to summon a malevolent and supernatural entity known as "The Empty Man." Marin Ireland, Stephen Root, Ron Canada, Robert Aramayo, Joel Courtney, and Sasha Frolova co-star.

Currently in its eighth weekend frame, Tenet fell 15%, also taking in $1.3 million (down from $1.6 million last weekend) from 1,801 locations, bringing its U.S. gross to $52.5 million, writes Deadline. Globally, Christopher Nolan's time-twisting spy adventure has made $341.1 million. While theaters outside of Manhattan are now allowed to operate at reduced capacity, key venues in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are still closed.

"I can’t tell you we walked away from the Tenet experience saying it was a home run,” Stankey told investors on Thursday. But he added that “we’re happy we did it," AT&T CEO John Stankey recently said during an earnings call, adding that he sees a "choppy" future for the theatrical industry, so long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist.

Tenet John David Washington

For the last two weeks, the Liam Neeson-led thriller Honest Thief has been leading the box office. It made $7.5 million over the last 10 days and expanded to more screens after New York theaters outside the city proper got the green light to resume operations. While it dropped 44% in its second weekend — bringing in just $2.4 million after it debuted to $3.7 million last weekend — the film's distributor, Open Road, is quite pleased with the results thus far.

"Our belief was that releasing a crowd-pleaser of a film, like Honest Thief, at this point in time, would generate the positive word-of-mouth necessary to successfully propel the film for many weeks.  Back to back weeks at number 1, confirms that belief," CEO Tom Ortenberg said in a statement to Variety.