'The Rental' Tops U.S. Pandemic Box Office, 'Interstellar' Re-Release Adds Some Fuel To International Theaters

A new movie topped the U.S. pandemic box office for once, with audiences showing up in — well, not droves, but respectable numbers for The Rental, Dave Franco's feature directorial debut. While catalog titles filled up the rest of the top 10 of this past weekend's box office, it goes to show that horror is the only thing that's thriving at the box office amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, perhaps to offset the real-life horrors that are mounting every day.

Deadline reports that IFC's horror movie The Rental took the top spot at the pandemic box office for the second weekend in a row. The Rental took in $290,300 over three days, down 28% from its opening weekend, but still enough to beat out the catalog titles that filled out the rest of the top 10, including The Goonies, Jurassic Park, and Jaws. The biggest day for Franco's feature directorial debut, which follows a group of friends in an Airbnb rental from hell, was Friday with a gross $110,300 of, dipping to $109,800 on Saturday and $70,200 on Sunday.

This is just the latest new horror release to do (relatively) well at the summer box office, proving that horror is the rare genre to thrive during the pandemic. IFC horror releases like The Wretched and Relic have been able to rake in around $1 million each over their total runs.

International Box Office Gets an Interstellar Boost

Meanwhile, overseas the Warner Bros. re-release of Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar added some fuel to China's recently reopened theaters, grossing $2.85 million over the weekend, Deadline reports. Leading the pack was Universal's Dolittle, which earned $3.32 million, while another $400,000 came from 442 IMAX screens.

This was the country's biggest single day and highest "opening" day gross since theaters in low-risk areas reopened on July 20. Sunday was the highest grossing day overall post-coronavirus closures, with the weekend earning a total $17.6 million across all titles.

The success of Interstellar sets the stage for the international release of Nolan's Tenet, which is set to hit overseas theaters on August 26. A China release date has yet to be confirmed (and may hit a few snags considering Tenet's extra-long runtime), but the success of China's reopened theaters may see Tenet opening in the country in late August.