Gran Turismo pulled ahead of Barbie by just $200,000. However National Cinema Day could still see the iconic doll land in first place when all is said and done.
With unofficial numbers rolling in, the studios have called this final week of the 2023 summer movie season for Gran Turismo with an estimated take of $17.3 million, putting it squarely between where tracking saw it on Thursday and our predictions. That number includes $5.3 million the racing film accumulated over the past few weeks of preview screenings. We say “unofficial” numbers because the studios generally report their numbers without knowing exactly what Sunday will bring, they just give it an educated guess based on pre-sales and how the film performed on Friday and Saturday. Well, as we know, today is no ordinary Sunday. It’s National Cinema Day, where tickets are just $4 across the board. Despite that underwhelming opening for Turismo, its small by today’s standards $60 million budget and solid word of mouth (98% audience score and an A cinemascore) should see this one play decently over the next few weeks. You can check out Chris Bumbray’s 8/10 review here.
Why National Cinema Day is such an x-factor is that it is hard to predict which movies will benefit the most. Will it be the new releases that maybe people were waiting until today to see or will it be older movies that maybe people want to see one more time before they leave theaters. With all of that said, Warner Bros is calling the sixth weekend of Barbie at $17.1 million, yet when official numbers come in tomorrow, it is possible that Barbie takes over that top spot. However the final numbers end up, Barbie finishes the summer as the top grossing movie of 2023 and it still has an IMAX release coming up with never before seen footage.
Third place will be Blue Beetle with an estimated $12.7 million. I could point to a bunch of reasons the movie has failed, but by now that is all old hat. The movie just needed to be better and it wasn’t. And before the comments get flooded with people calling me a marvel fan boy, I say the same thing about the last few Marvel films with the exception of Guardians 3 because that was actually pretty good. And the good news there is that the dude who made that movie, James Gunn, is now co-in charge of the DC slate of movies. Knowing that, I am cautiously optimistic about his upcoming Superman: Legacy. Of course, let us not forget: Christopher Nolan was a producer on Man of Steel and he quickly jumped ship after that one.
Speaking of Christopher Nolan, his Oppenheimer continues its domination with an additional $9 million, which is just a 16% drop from last week. That number sees the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the first ever atomic bomb officially hit the $300 million mark. I wonder how worried the bosses at Universal were when they heard the movie they paid a hefty price tag for was going to be a 3 hour biopic with little action and lots of dialogue?! However they felt, I’m sure they are all doing cartwheels now. With this showing that when studios actually trust the filmmakers they hire, the results are generally positive.
Spots five through seven belong to your holdover titles with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem continuing its solid run at the box office with another $6.1 million as it nears the $100 million benchmark. Meg 2: The Trench will add another $5.1 million to its $74.4 million domestic total. While that number may seem low, especially when you consider the first movie hit $145.5 in its domestic run, these movies are made with the international audience in mind where Meg 2 has amassed over $322 million total. In its second weekend, Strays shed 44% of its audience for a $4.6 million weekend.
Opening in eighth place is the new Liam Neeson action film Retribution, which continued the Oscar Nominated stars run of severely under-performing films as this one could only manage $3.3 million. We are a long ways away from the days of Taken, that’s for sure! Coming in ninth place is the Dennis Quaid starring faith based title The Hill with an estimated $2.5 million. Rounding out the top ten is Haunted Mansion with an additional $2.1 million added to its underwhelming $62.2 million domestic total. Looking at October, there are no kid based scary movies on the schedule unless you count Five Nights at Freddy’s, so Disney really messed up by not giving this movie a Halloween season run. Even though the movie was mediocre, more people would have went to see it then and not in the middle of summer.
Are you one of the over 3 million people who have pre-purchased tickets for todays National Cinema Day? Let us know what you saw in the comments and don’t forget to check our weekly poll where we ask: What was your Favorite Movie of Summer 2023?