Tom & Jerry Is #2 Pandemic Box Office Opening (But Can’t Beat WW84)
As the weekend’s box office numbers came in, Tom & Jerry showed surprising strength – having the second highest opening weekend performance since the COVID-19 pandemic started, only being beaten out by Wonder Woman 1984. The Warner Bros. family film brings back the classic titular Hanna-Barbera characters to the big screen after their last theatrical outing – 1992’s Tom and Jerry: The Movie. The iconic duo got their start in the 1940s as the subjects for nearly 200 theatrical short films. They’ve had several television shows, 13 direct-to-video films, and even a musical adaptation.
While many industries have been negatively affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the film industry has been hit particularly hard. Many movie theaters were forced to shut down for large amounts of 2020 – and many could remain closed well into 2021. As a consequence, many theatrical releases were either delayed or had to be released on VOD. Big tentpole films – like Dune, Black Widow, and No Time to Die – were delayed by 6-12 months. Some, like Mulan and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, found relative success on streaming services. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet bombed in the United States and failed to break even when its marketing budget was accounted for. Tenet’s failure scared a lot of distributors – and many of them decided to delay their biggest films well into 2021. Currently, the film with the best performing domestic theatrical opening weekend since the pandemic started is Wonder Woman 1984 – which brought in $ 16.7 million.
A report from Variety that covered the weekend’s box office numbers revealed that Tom & Jerry has brought in the second highest opening weekend box office take since COVID-19 began. The film brought in $ 13.7 million in the United States – which makes it only the second film to bring in over $ 10 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend during the last ten months. The film has also brought in $ 25 million internationally.
Despite the strong box office numbers, Tom & Jerry‘s critical reception hasn’t been outstanding. Particular criticism has been leveled at the film’s by-the-numbers screenplay, the focus on the live-action actors rather than the titular duo, and the bland performances from those actors. The film’s hybrid live-action/animation style has also been a miss for many critics and movie-goers, and many have pointed that this new film shares the same issues that the duo’s previous theatrical outing had.
However, the film’s strong opening – despite it’s reception – should serve as a good sign for those seeking a return to the film-going days of old. The film’s numbers are unquestionable proof that people are starting to become ready to return to the theater – especially considering Tom & Jerry is also available on HBO Max. With notable film-centers like New York City set to reopen theaters at limited capacity next week – box office numbers like Tom & Jerry‘s may become the norm.
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