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story.lead_photo.caption This image released by Disney shows Yifei Liu, center, in the title role of "Mulan." (Jasin Boland/Disney via AP) Photo by Associated Press / Texarkana Gazette.

Moviegoing audiences in North America are not rushing back to the theater just yet and "Mulan" is also faltering in its China release as the global box office slowly comes back online in the COVID-19 era.

In the second major weekend for U.S. and Canadian movie theaters, Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" earned only $6.7 million from 2,910 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday. Warner Bros' sci-fi thriller was viewed as the main litmus test for whether audiences were ready to embrace the theatrical experience again, after nearly six months of shuttered theaters due to the pandemic.

Although it was enough to top the scattershot domestic releases, it also isn't enough to jumpstart the struggling exhibition industry. Warner Bros. has already pushed back its next major release, "Wonder Woman 1984," even further.

The weekend's only major new opener was Sony's PG-13 rom-com "The Broken Hearts Gallery," which earned an estimated $1.1 million from 2,204 North American locations. The film, from first-time writer director Natalie Krinsky and executive produced by Selena Gomez, is about a 20-something gallerist played by Geraldine Viswanathan who creates an art exhibit with souvenirs from her past relationships.

The studio is optimistic about its performance and potential.

"The early numbers are really encouraging," said Adrian Smith, the president of president of Sony Pictures domestic distribution.

Smith noted that the film will have a slow roll out as more theaters continue to open in the U.S.

Roughly two-thirds of the domestic market is open and theaters are operating at limited capacity and with limited showtimes.

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