tent·​pole | \ ˈtent-ˌpōl How to pronounce tentpole (audio) \

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

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Gurung spent years living in Mumbai and other parts of Asia after having grown up in Nepal, so a key tentpole of his brand remains celebrating the visibility and diversity of South Asia. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "Prabal Gurung Breaks Naan With Fashion’s Finest at His Post-Show Dinner," 11 Feb. 2019 The tentpole is opening offshore two weeks ahead of its June 22 domestic launch to avoid a showdown with the World Cup. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Steals the Show With $41.5M Opening," 10 June 2018 The tentpole is on course for a foreign start of $140 million or more after collecting nearly $40 million on Wednesday and Thursday, including a record-shattering opening day of $9.7 million in South Korea. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Pulling Off $40M-Plus Heist," 9 June 2018 Proving that fanboy-centric tentpoles aren't the only summer box-office jewels, the female-fronted Ocean's 8 opened to a series-best $41.5 million from 4,145 theaters to easily place No. 1 in North America. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Steals the Show With $41.5M Opening," 10 June 2018 But the hectic fighting series is also different from the company’s other tentpole releases. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the complete package," 6 Dec. 2018 The comeback strategy needed a third tentpole: time. Constance Grady, Vox, "Mel Gibson has set the blueprint for a #MeToo comeback. Expect other men to follow it.," 24 July 2018 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

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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The first known use of tentpole was in 1987

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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