An interesting occurrence took place this week. Despite not being the most favored among Americans, a film claimed the number one spot on the official weekend box office list. All credit goes to Sony’s decision to augment the opening earnings of “Gran Turismo” with not only $1.4 million from Thursday preview screenings (which has been the Hollywood norm for two decades) but also $3.9 million from screenings conducted last Friday.
Naturally, Warner hopes for Sony to subtract $3.9 million from the opening total, a move that would restore “Barbie” to the lead position. This irony is intriguing as Warner Bros. followed the same path as Sony did in 2020 when it declared that “Tenet” earned $20 million on its debut. This sum encompassed receipts from a week’s worth of screenings in Canada, where Christopher Nolan’s film premiered earlier.
Regrettably, the only positive news Sony has regarding “Gran Turismo” is its top position. The movie generated $17.3 million, including pre-release screenings, a figure that fails to impress considering the $60 million estimated production budget. Clearly, the dollar amount doesn’t reflect actual attendance, especially considering the National Cinema Day campaign on Sundays, when tickets cost a mere $4.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. asserts that “Barbie” will gross $17.1 million over the weekend, merely a 19% decline from the previous chart. Other studios suggest that Warner Bros. might be too optimistic and that the Margot Robbie-starrer will earn around $15.1 million. However, this doesn’t change the impending fact that “Barbie,” as the 14th film in American box office history, is about to surpass the $600 million milestone.
Conversely, Liam Neeson’s sensational thrillers seem to have lost their appeal among the American audience. “Ultimatum” grossed $3.3 million in its debut. Nevertheless, it fares better than “Marlowe” did in February ($1.8 million opening, $4.4 million total). It’s more in line with Neeson’s premieres from the previous year: “Without Memory” ($3.1 million opening, $7.3 million total) and “Whistleblower” ($3.5 million opening, $9.6 million total).
The latest entry to the top ten landed in the 9th position. This sports biography of The Hill earned a modest $2.5 million.
The Israeli Iron Lady’s biography, “Golda,” only ranked 14th. This time, the controversy surrounding the casting of non-Jewish Helen Mirren as Israel’s Prime Minister failed to boost sales. The film earned a mere $1.7 million.
On the other hand, the LGBTQ youth comedy “Bottoms” thrived in limited distribution. It garnered over half a million dollars across 10 theaters, averaging $51.6 thousand per theater. This surpasses the performance of “Everywhere at Once” ($50.1 thousand).
The film “Oppenheimer” is also notable. If current predictions hold true, Christopher Nolan’s work will reach the $300 million mark today, becoming the seventh R-rated film to achieve this milestone.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Chaos” is poised to reach $100 million next week, coinciding with its premiere on PVOD on September 1st.
Only one major premiere is slated for the summer cinema season’s closing weekend. It’s the highly anticipated thriller starring Denzel Washington, “No Mercy 3: The Final Chapter.”