‘Tom & Jerry’ Draws $13.7 Million in Best Debut This Year

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“Tom & Jerry” led North America’s box office this weekend with $13.7 million in opening sales, the largest debut this year and the second-best since the pandemic began.

The Warner Bros. remake of the classic cartoon caper took in $33.1 million globally this weekend, according to industry researcher Comscore Inc., with China its second-largest market.

Kid-friendly movies have performed well during the pandemic as families favor lighter fare. “Wonder Women 1984,” also by Warner Bros. and geared toward a young audience, had the best weekend opening during the pandemic with $16.7 million. Universal’s “The Croods: A New Age,” which came out around Thanksgiving Day, is now No. 3.

“This is certainly an over-performance by pandemic standards,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice Pro. Warner Bros.’ result this weekend would also be encouraging for Walt Disney Co., which is set to release “Raya and the Last Dragon” on March 5, he said.

‘Tom & Jerry’ Draws $13.7 Million in Best Debut This Year

“Tom & Jerry” was released simultaneously on HBO Max in the U.S. for a month. It follows AT&T’s Warner Bros.’ plan to put all of its 2021 movies online the same day they open in cinemas, a strategy that drew the ire of theater chains already starved of new titles and strained by Covid-related capacity restrictions. Prior to the pandemic, theaters usually had as long as three months of exclusive rights to new movies.

About 42% of theaters in North America have reopened, according to Comscore. New York City, a major film market, is set to reopen movie theaters at 25% capacity on Friday. Warner Bros. said it saw “an enormous boost” for “Tom & Jerry” from private theater rental bookings, a new offering by cinemas to attract audiences to return in their own private bubbles.

AMC Entertainment and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema have both introduced private screenings during the pandemic.

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