tent·​pole | \ˈtent-ˌpōl \

Definition of tentpole 

: a big-budget movie whose earnings are expected to compensate the studio for its less profitable movies

Examples of tentpole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All eyes will be on Solo to see how the tentpole fares in its second weekend following a lackluster debut domestically. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box-Office Preview: How Far Will 'Solo' Drop in Post-Memorial Day Weekend?," 31 May 2018 As anyone who has sat through a recent summer superhero tentpole can attest, there is a lot of violence to catalogue—on the order of 23 acts per hour for the good guys, with just 18 violent acts per hour for the bad guys. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Forget movie villains—it’s the “good” superheroes that are the most violent," 9 Nov. 2018 Over the course of the Queen Elizabeth's nearly 70-year reign, her speeches have become tentpoles for the British public to mark the passing of time. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Most Delightful, Witty, and Moving Quotes," 19 Aug. 2018 The success of Gibson’s comeback relies on persistent vagueness and keeping his face away from the controversies that surround him There are four major tentpoles to Gibson’s comeback. Constance Grady, Vox, "Mel Gibson has set the blueprint for a #MeToo comeback. Expect other men to follow it.," 24 July 2018 Sans no competition from another tentpole, Avengers: Infinity War has topped the box office for three consecutive weekends, a veritable eternity in summer, when Hollywood tentpoles generally open one on top of another. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Devours 'Life of the Party,' 'Breaking In' With $62M," 13 May 2018 The weekend's two new films were a pair of smaller titles hoping to serve as counterprogramming to tentpole fare, Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Uncle Drew. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Weekend Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Dunks 'Uncle Drew,' 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' With $60M," 1 July 2018 Skyscraper will open between two major Chinese tentpoles: Jiang Wen’s Hidden Man (July 13), which Warners is co-producing, and Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (July 27). Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dwayne Johnson’s 'Skyscraper' Scores Rare China Release Date During Summer Blackout," 27 June 2018 These albums were meant to exist in the multiple, registering as events and as cultural tentpoles: constantly played and constantly argued over. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Everything Is Love Marks a New Step in the Album's Evolution," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tentpole.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tentpole

1987, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for tentpole

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for tentpole

The first known use of tentpole was in 1987

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a nest or breeding place

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