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SYFY WIRE Box Office

The New Mutants restarts U.S. box office with $7 million; Bill & Ted rocks to $1.06 million

By Josh Weiss
The New Mutants

After months of theater closures amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibitor industry was restarted this weekend with the release of The New Mutants and Bill & Ted Face the Music.

The final X-Men project of the 20th Century Fox era, The New Mutants is the largest release since March. Its opening is extremely notable, as the flick was delayed several times since the project dropped its first trailer back in October of 2017. Per Variety, the Josh Boone-directed film brought in $7 million, which was slightly underwhelming, but still the largest haul of the global health crisis.

Analyst David A. Gross told Variety that the movie probably would have debuted to $14 million if all of America's 6,000 theaters were open. Between 60-70 percent of theaters are now operating in the U.S. and Canada, but locations in key markets (i.e. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and New Jersey) still remained closed. Theaters that have re-opened are enforcing mandatory safety measures such as required face masks (except while eating and drinking), social distancing, and reduced theater occupancy.

The New Mutants

Based on the Demon Bear Saga by Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz, The New Mutants (boasting a not-so-fresh 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) is about a group of teens coming to terms with their powers at a mysterious medical facility. When Danielle Moonstar/Mirage (Blu Hunt) arrives, the kids start to face their worst fears. Boone (Stuck in LoveThe Fault in Our Stars) wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend, Knate Lee.

"We were just so attracted to his art when we were young," Boone the director recently told SYFY WIRE regarding Sienkiewicz. "It was so evocative and so different from all the other comic book art that we’d seen. It was dark and moody; it was already fantastical and sort of horrific."

Anya Taylor-Joy ("Illyana Rasputin/Magik"), Maisie Williams ("Rahne Sinclar/Wolfsbane"), Charlie Heaton ("Sam Guthrie/Cannoball"), Henry Zaga ("Roberto da Costa/Sunspot"), and Alice Braga ("Dr. Cecilia Reyes") co-star.

The New Mutants

Bill & Ted's third (and non-bogus) adventure rocked on to the tune of $1.06 million from 1,007 venues. Most of the revenue came from drive-in theaters (now making a comeback due to social distancing) in Salt Lake City, Dallas, and Houston. While on the much lower side, the box-office take for Face the Music shouldn't be surprising when you consider that the movie was simultaneously released on VOD. It's currently the No. 1 title on iTunes, with the trilogy bundle ranking in the No. 2 slot.

Helmed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), the long-awaited threequel picks up several decades after Bogus Journey. Now washed up and staring down the barrel of middle age, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are tasked with writing a song that will unite the universe.

Bill and Ted Face the Music

With some help from their daughters (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine), the Wyld Stallyns set off on another quest through time in their trusty phone booth. Original Bill & Ted scribes Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson returned to write the script. See what critics are saying about it here. Critics have been highly complimentary of the light-hearted feature, which has a 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — just one percent lower than the original's score.

Anthony Carrigan, Kristen Schaal, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, Holland Taylor, Kid Cudi, William Sadler, and Jillian Bell co-star.


Christopher Nolan's Tenet opened in foreign territories this weekend ahead of its domestic debut Thursday, Sept. 3 (although early access screenings start Monday). Variety reports that the time-twisting spy homage blockbuster, which holds an 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, has brought in $53 million so far in overseas sales.

"We are off to a fantastic start internationally and couldn’t be more pleased," Toby Emmerich, chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a statement run by Variety. "Christopher Nolan has once again delivered an event worthy motion picture that demands to be seen on the big screen, and we are thrilled that audiences across the globe are getting the opportunity to see Tenet. Thank you to our exhibition partners for their tireless efforts in reopening their cinemas in a safe and socially-distanced way. Given the unprecedented circumstances of this global release we know we’re running a marathon, not a sprint, and look forward to long playability for this film globally for many weeks to come."

Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Clémence Poésy, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Caine, Himesh Patel, Martin Donovan, and Kenneth Branagh.