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Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Christopher Nolan's new action film "Tenet" raked in $20.2 million over Labor Day weekend in the U.S. and nearly $150 million globally as it became the first major blockbuster to debut since the pandemic put the film industry on hold, Variety reports.

Why it matters: The early success of "Tenet" suggests people are still willing to make their way to the movie theater for a highly anticipated film in the midst of a pandemic, but expectations at the box office have been significantly lowered.

What they're saying: "There is literally no context in which to compare the results of a film opening during a pandemic with any other circumstance," Warner Bros. said in a statement. "We are in unprecedented territory, so any comparisons to the pre-COVID world would be inequitable and baseless.”

The state of play: 70% of U.S. movie theaters are currently open and operating at half-capacity in order to ensure social distancing is possible, according to AP. The film, which had its release delayed in the U.S. three times due to the coronavirus, debuted in 2,810 North American locations.

What to watch: "Tenet" will need to rake in a total of $500 million in order to break even, according to AP.

Go deeper

Regal Cinemas to temporarily close all 663 of its theaters in the U.S. and U.K.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

British movie exhibitor Cineworld, the parent company to Regal Cinemas, said on Monday that it would temporarily close all 663 of its movie theaters in the United States and the U.K.

Why it matters: Theater chains have struggled to survive the economic fallout of the coronavirus. Some analysts have argued that the pandemic could become the death knell to the theater industry.

6 mins ago - Health

CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday strengthened its previous recommendation for booster shots, saying that everyone 18 and older "should" receive a booster dose.

Why it matters: Last month, CDC director Rochelle Walensky accepted a key advisory committee's recommendation that adults "may" get the shot. The slight, but strengthened, change in wording comes amid the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.