Gran Turismo and Barbie Engage in Fierce Box Office Battle

The box office arena witnessed an intense showdown as Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story and Barbie went head-to-head for supremacy. Initial studio estimates on Sunday revealed that Gran Turismo accelerated to an opening weekend of $17.3 million, narrowly edging out Greta Gerwig’s sensation Barbie, which pulled in $17.1 million in its sixth week of release.

The Independent reports that the competition’s outcome could still shift, pending final ticket sales calculations set for Monday. Adding intrigue to the weekend, U.S. theaters celebrated the second National Cinema Day on Sunday, offering $4 tickets for all films and showtimes, enticing a surge in theatergoers.

While Barbie was anticipated to rule on the discount day, its prior achievements deserve mention. With domestic ticket sales amounting to $594.8 million, Barbie overtook The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($574 million) to secure the mantle of 2023’s top domestic earner. Its global revenue of $1.34 billion is poised to exceed Mario’s $1.35 billion worldwide.

National Cinema Day aimed to reinvigorate movie attendance during a traditionally slower season and compensate for lost ticket revenue through concessions. Last year, the event attracted 8.1 million moviegoers, marking the year’s busiest cinema day.

While Barbie likely retains the weekend crown, Gran Turismo holds a slender earnings lead, encompassing $5.3 million from preview screenings before Thursday.

A steady launch for Gran Turismo marked its debut with a budget of $60 million. The film’s narrative of a PlayStation video game enthusiast transforming into a real-life racer resonated well, garnering an “A” CinemaScore.

Previous leader, DC Comics’ Blue Beetle, dropped to third with $12.8 million in its second week, accumulating $46.3 million in two weeks. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer secured fourth with $9 million in its sixth week, surpassing $300 million domestically and $777.1 million globally.

Additional releases included MGM’s comedy Bottoms with a promising debut in limited release and Liam Neeson’s thriller Retribution opening with $3.3 million. The Hill, a sports drama featuring Dennis Quaid, commenced with $2.5 million, and Golda, starring Helen Mirren as an ex-Israeli prime minister, debuted with $2 million.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

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