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‘Tenet’ brings in $53M at international box office

Yahoo Finance’s On The Move panel address how the film industry is faring amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Video Transcript

DAN ROBERTS: At theaters that are open. I mean, does it sell out? And sell out, of course, hard to do an apples to apples comparison. But at theaters where they've allowed a certain capacity, do they sell through all the seats that they're going to allow, all the tickets are going to sell? I'm sure that data will be widely reported and speculated on. And by the way, I think parts of New York state might have theaters, but New York City and LA not having them open is a major problem.

Now let's also mention "Tenet" opened overseas first, which was a surprise. It's done well there in the first week. And there's also high expectations for China. Things are safe enough in China that theaters have really bounced back there. In fact, there's already been some movies that have opened in China. So I think "Tenet" is going to big, big numbers in China, where theaters there are open.

And of course, it's a study in contrast, because "Tenet" paired with "Mulan," those were going to be the two big first blockbuster theatrical releases. And of course, Disney went a very different direction from Warner Brothers. We know that "Mulan" is about to hit Disney Plus for a $30 fee, and that's only if you already subscribe to Disney Plus. So we're going to see a lot of comparisons of that. And if "Tenet" does OK in its limited US opening, you might see people second-guessing Disney and saying, they should have put out "Mulan" in theaters where theaters were open.

DAN HOWLEY: Dan, I got to ask, we're looking at theaters opening slowly. You got to check one out. I guess, how long do you think it'll take until theaters really see kind of a full return to normalcy, unless that just doesn't happen when we have a vaccine? And anecdotally, how do you feel going into the theater? Because that's something that personally I am a little nervous to do.

DAN ROBERTS: Yeah, I mean, that's the biggest question. How comfortable will people be? And I don't think there's going to be a hard date where it's like, OK, open up everything, everyone's good now. Even once there's a vaccine, we don't think, and I'm sure Anjalee can answer this better than I, but we don't think that even once there is a vaccine, it'll be instantly widely available. So the same question applies to sports. I mean, the NFL says it's starting its season September 10. Some teams have come out and said, we're not going to have any fans. Some teams have said we're going to have a limited number of fans in our stadium.

Well, will fans feel comfortable going with a mask on? Personally, and I should mention what movie we saw. We saw "The Personal History of David Copperfield." And that was a Disney movie. It's, of course, from the Dickens book. The movie was great, and we felt very comfortable. I mean, there were 15 people in the whole theater and we wore masks. We got snacks. All the people worked in the movie theater wore masks. There was hand sanitizer widely available. We felt fine. It didn't feel to me that different from outdoor dining, if you're distanced.

But everyone has a different level of comfort. So I don't think movie theaters are dead. I think they'll bounce back. But it's going to vary state by state. And I'm lucky enough that in certain east coast states like Connecticut, and I think Adam said New Jersey, things are good enough that a lot of businesses are reopening. But of course, in other states, Florida, Texas, Arizona, it's going to take longer.