WB’s ‘Tom and Jerry’ breaks major box office records to become second best debut during pandemic

Warner Brothers’ legendary animated series Tom and Jerry’s reboot is a combination of live-action and computer generated animation. The film hit the theatres on 26 February 2021, debuting to $14.1 million at the domestic box office, one of the biggest opening weekends amidst the haul of the coronavirus era.

Tom & Jerry has brought the box office back to life as it made $14.1M over the weekend. Breaking it further, it did $4M on Friday, and $6.1M on Saturday and $4M on Sunday. This is a very solid start for a family comedy film in a nation where just under 50 per cent of all U.S. and Canada theaters are open. That’s a very good indication that an upbeat vibe is developing amongst moviegoers.

With this, Tom & Jerry has scored the second-best opening during pandemic after the record of Warner Brorhers’ Christmas release, Wonder Woman 1984, which did $16.4M worldwide. This also beats the three-day of Universal/Dreamworks Animation’s Croods: New Age, which took in $9.7M over the three-day Thanksgiving weekend.

Tom & Jerry, was also released on HBO Max, where it will be streaming for 31 days. However, WarnerMedia didn’t report any viewership data in regards to the film on the streaming platform.

When asked about Tom & Jerry’s overwhelming response over the weekend, Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein said, “This is evidence that people are willing to go back to the movies when there is something they want to see.”

Warner’s also observed that there was a big number of private party theatrical auditorium rentals by families. They have stated that Tom & Jerry has over 10k auditorium bookings to date.

Directed by Tim Story and based on the cartoon characters of the same name created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom & Jerry’s live-action cast is led by Chloë Grace Moretz, sharing the screen with Michael Peña and Colin Jost.

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research said, “With half of theaters still closed, the pandemic still a threat, and Tom & Jerry available at home, this is a very good opening. Under normal circumstances, this weekend would comfortably be above $35 million, a positive sign for the business and for theatrical’s pull over home entertainment.” Gross is a marketing consultant who monitors sequels, remakes, reboots and other forms of cinematic repetition.

This was a week of encouraging news for theaters. After almost a year of closure, New York City will be permitted to open (with 25 per cent capacity) from 5 March 2021. At the Paramount+ announcement on 24 February 2021, Paramount said its films will have a 30-day theatrical exclusive for most titles, and 45 days for anticipated hits like Top Gun: Maverick.

While the pandemic has slowed down the world, the response that the movie has received from its audience, despite being available online, has proved that things seem to be going in the right direction for the film industry, as moviegoing may be on the mend. 

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