The first major new release to open in theaters in the early months of this pandemic was “Unhinged”. The Russell Crowe action/thriller was in 1,823 theaters in its first weekend of wide release in August 2020. The next theater count high came the next weekend, with “The New Mutants” playing in 2,412 locations. “TENET” became the new theater champ the following weekend, in 2,810 theaters. Its highest count was in Weekend 3, in 2,930 theaters.
“TENET” held the “most theaters” title for nearly seven months. Plenty of films were released in between, but none in close to 2,930 theaters. “The Croods: A New Age” had a high point of 2,211 during its run. “Wonder Woman 1984” was in a maximum of 2,218. “Tom & Jerry”’s biggest weekend saw it in 2,563 theaters and “Raya and the Last Dragon” in 2,375.
“Godzilla vs. Kong” opened on Easter Weekend 2021 in 3,064 theaters, reaching a high of 3,084 the next weekend. Warner Bros. soon followed-up with “Mortal Kombat” in a maximum of 3,114 theaters. The crown was soon overtaken by the studio’s next release, the Angelina Jolie thriller “Those Who Wish Me Dead”. In its second weekend (May 21-23), it was in 3,379 theaters. That was the most theaters for a movie at the time, and yet it made significantly less than many other films that came out before it (just $7.4 million).
Memorial Day Weekend saw “A Quiet Place: Part II” in 3,726 locations and “Cruella” in even more: 3,892. “F9: The Fast Saga” became the first 4,000+ theater title, with 4,179 on June 25. Three weeks later, Disney had “Black Widow” in 4,275 theaters.
WB’s “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and “The Suicide Squad” both got to 4,000+ theater counts. Disney opened “Free Guy” in 4,165 locations and “Shang-Chi” in 4,300. The current champ… barely… is “Jungle Cruise”, which The Mouse House kicked-off at 4,310 North American cinemas on July 30.
Wonder if any movies debut in more locations during the rest of the year. Some Drive-Ins being closed in November and December will likely hurt some films’ chances, but we’ll see!
(Source: Box Office Mojo)