While opening slightly above pre-release projections and taking No. 1, Sony’s “Gran Turismo” has a long way to go to post a theatrical profit with an opening weekend of $16.5 million from 3,856 theaters.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp and based on the true story of esports racer-turned real-life endurance driver Jann Mardenborough, “Gran Turismo” carries a reported budget of $60 million before marketing costs. While the film had a photo call at the Cannes Film Festival and press junkets earlier this summer, the cast didn’t promote the film in the weeks leading up to release due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
Critics have been mixed about “Gran Turismo” with a 59% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences have been very enthusiastic with an A on CinemaScore. Sony used two weekends of preview screenings to help build word-of-mouth and will now look for the film to leg out from this new buzz.
A film that isn’t legging out is Warner Bros./DC’s “Blue Beetle” with an estimated second weekend of $9.7 million. That would represent a 61% drop from the DC film’s already soft $25 million opening, giving it a 10-day domestic total of just $43.2 million as the superhero franchise continues its poor form over the past year.
Meanwhile, summer megahits “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” continue their strong pace, with “Barbie” approaching the $600 million domestic mark with $14.5 million in its sixth weekend, giving it an estimated running total of $592 million. “Oppenheimer” is earning $8 million in its sixth weekend as it is on the doorstep of $300 million domestic, passing the domestic total of Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film “Inception” before inflation adjustment.
It is worth noting that all of this weekend’s estimates could substantially change thanks to National Cinema Day, an event hosted by the National Association of Theater Owners in which thousands of cinemas will sell tickets for all screenings this Sunday for just $4. After 8.1 million tickets were sold during last year’s event, box office sources are expecting a small bump in revenue for many of the films playing in theaters.