While it will never be known how much “Tenet” would have earned at the box office had it not debuted in the midst of a global pandemic, but early indications demonstrate that even COVID-19 can’t keep a blockbuster movie dowm.

“Tenet” opened internationally this weekend, with Variety reporting the Christopher Nolan-directed sci-fi thriller raked in $53 million worldwide in its debut weekend.

The stakes were high for “Tenet”, which is being viewed as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for Hollywood, representing the first major tentpole movie to be released theatrically after cinemas have begun reopening after being shuttered since March.

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While that number would no doubt have been higher pre-pandemic, it’s still encouraging for studios and cinemas, which have been hit particularly hard by the closure of theatres.

According to Variety, “Tenet” launched in 41 international markets, and performed particularly well in the United Kingdom, where it brought in $7.1 million. In addition, the film brought in $6.7 million in France, $5.1 million in South Korea and $4.2 million in Germany. Expect even more millions to pour in next weekend, when the film opens in the U.S., China and Russia.

“We are off to a fantastic start internationally and couldn’t be more pleased,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “Christopher Nolan has once again delivered an event0worthy motion picture that demands to be seen on the big screen, and we are thrilled that audiences across the globe are getting the opportunity to see ‘Tenet’.”

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Emmerich also shared his thanks to theatres “for their tireless efforts in reopening their cinemas in a safe and socially-distanced way,” Emmerich added. “Given the unprecedented circumstances of this global release we know we’re running a marathon, not a sprint, and look forward to long playability for this film globally for many weeks to come.”

Despite theatrical restrictions involving social distancing and capacity, Variety points out that “Tenet” set a few records for Nolan, who can now boast that the movie gave him the biggest opening of his career in nine countries, including Hungary, Holland and Ukraine. In, “Tenet” now has bragging rights as being earning the biggest opening ever for a Hollywood movie in Saudi Arabia, where it brought in $1.47 million from 131 venues.