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

Recent Examples on the Web Credit the commercial superiority of King Kong (especially cast here as an underdog/asexual/friend to children everyman) over Godzilla and being the first must-see-in-theaters tentpole of the Covid vaccination era. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021 Beyond espionage thrills, a Winter Soldier story could also get at some weighty themes for a tentpole superhero movie. Abraham Riesman, Vulture, 19 Mar. 2021 But Apple made privacy and security tentpole iPhone features, improving the user protections significantly over the years. Chris Smith, BGR, 17 May 2021 Superman movie during Hollywood’s initial round of tentpole mania? Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 6 May 2021 The factors that hindered it during the pandemic (closed marketplaces, capacity limits, theaters not operating during the day, etc.) were balanced out by excitement over the first big tentpole in the Covid vaccine era. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 There’s been such a push and pull about wanting tentpole movies and then small movies. Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2021 In the future, tentpole films could get theatrical release while smaller movies drive the subscriptions flywheel by debuting on streaming platforms. Shalini Govil-pai, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 Tenet is now looking like a warning to studios: Releasing a tentpole theatrically is a bad idea right now. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 16 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tentpole

Time Traveler

The first known use of tentpole was in 1987

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Statistics for tentpole

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tentpole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tentpole. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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