Russia and Hong Kong are the latest markets to join the growing group of countries to hit Stage 3 on their Blueprint To Recovery. The two markets achieved the goal in the September 10 play-week with Warner Bros’ TENET proving a key factor in both success stories.

Stage 3 is achieving a base-level weekly box office equivalent to the lowest grossing week of the past two years. This demonstrates a core audience are comfortable with returning to cinemas and willing to do so. An important foundational step to build upon. 12 international markets, tracked by our partners at Comscore Movies, have now achieved Stage 3.

Russia required a play-week of R468.75 million to achieve Stage 3. Despite the market enjoying a 125% week-on-week boost in the week of TENET’s opening (Sept. 3), the film had not been sufficient to drive the market all the way to Stage 3 on its own. That week achieved 81% of the goal. However, with TENET holding strong (down just 18% in week 2) and MULAN entering the market to provide support at #2, offering an alternative for other demographics while also a new option for week-1 TENET viewers, Russia grossed over R497 million in the September 10 play-week. TENET and MULAN between them nearly 80% of the market.

Hong Kong required a play-week of HK$18.9 million to hit its Stage 3 target. The Asian market had reached 75% of its Stage 3 goal before a new spike in cases caused cinemas to be re-closed from July 15. It re-opened for the second time from August 28. TENET released for the September 10 play-week and the market blew past the target by Monday (five days into the week). The full week hit HK$24.8 million, according to Comscore, with TENET claiming 80% market share.

The successes, once again, demonstrate how audiences in international markets all over the world are ready and willing to return for big-titles. France, Germany, Austria and Italy had all previously achieved Stage 3 on the opening week of TENET. Netherlands, which was the only European market to have achieved Stage 3 prior to TENET’s launch, repeated at that level upon TENET’s opening.

Russia’s achievement further demonstrates how vital it can be to have a steady pipeline of new titles coming through in support. Singapore, the previous market to hit Stage 3 – doing so for the September 3 play-week – had also seen MULAN’s launch (at #1) a week after TENET taking the market past the target for the first time. Some markets, which achieved early or greater recovery stages (such as South Korea and China), have strong pipelines of local content to fill cinemas between major imports, but that is not the case for all markets.