With the second annual National Cinema Day coming on Sunday, you can expect the video game adaptation Gran Turismo to land in first
This weekend sees the release of the video game adaptation Gran Turismo, which may be the only video game adaptation that is based on a true story. The film was originally supposed to be released on August 11 but at the 11th hour Sony decided to push the film by two weeks in a bid to build word of mouth from several advanced screenings. The move came on the heels of the actors strike which stipulates stars can not promote their films in any way. Which, I’m sorry SAG-Aftra, is a dumb rule. I get that you are in the midst of a fight, and as a member of the union, I support the fight fully, but not allowing performers to simply tweet (or X, I’m still a bit confused as to what to call that platform now) or post an instagram video telling their fans to go see their movie is a bit much. For some performers, they will have movies released during this strike that can make or break their careers and they are not allowed to simply post “hey, go see my movie this weekend, thanks.”
So when it comes down to the dollars and cents of Gran Turismo, I honestly thought this movie was looking at a $30 million opening. Trailers have been plentiful and it looked genuinely good. But when I sat down to write this article, I noticed that tracking has the film only hitting a low to mid teens opening. That number will include the $3 million the film has taken in over the past two weeks of previews. I will stick my neck out here and say that Turismo will have enough juice to get to the $20-$25 million mark, but that is still less than I had originally planned on predicting before I sat down to do my research. It may seem like I am sounding the alarms on Gran Turismo already, and yes, that opening prediction is a bit lower than anticipated, but the reason this isn’t a def con one situation like Blue Beetle’s disastrous opening is that Gran Turismo carries a budget of just $60 million (compared to Blue Beetle’s $104 million). Despite some less than stellar critical reviews, Turismo has a solid 98% audience score which means word of mouth on the movie is strong. Hell, even the bad reviews for the film still say it is an enjoyable racing film, just a bit cliche’d. Our own Chris Bumbray called it a family crowd pleaser that is made for the big screen in his 8/10 review.
Second place will be a toss up between the second weekend of Blue Beetle and the sixth weekend of Barbie. Or will it? Because Barbie should easily dominate Blue Beetle as the Beetle will likely drop a bad super-hero movie standard 60%. The Beetle may have won the weekend, but Barbie quickly reclaimed her throne during the week. I would expect Barbie to come in around $13 million, representing a 35% decline while Blue Beetle will likely do around $10 million.
The big X factor for the weekend is the return of National Cinema Day on Sunday which will see theaters across the country offering tickets for all movies in all formats for just $4 a ticket. If you remember last year, the studios used this value ticket pricing to launch the now annual event in a ploy to get back those people who were still wary of returning to theaters. The event was successful, luring over 8 million people to theaters and allowing Top Gun: Maverick to become the first movie to ever top the box office on both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. I think the two biggest benefactors of this years National Cinema Day will be Gran Turismo and Barbie as many people will likely take the opportunity to see Turismo in a premium screen for just $4 while others may take the cheap pricing as an opportunity to see Barbie again on the big screen.
Fourth place will likely go to eventual Best Picture winner (if I had my way) Oppenheimer with another $6-$8 million bringing its domestic total to right around $300 million. Worldwide the Christopher Nolan title is hovering around $730 million, taking down Interstellar to become the director’s fourth highest grossing movie worldwide after The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 Billion), The Dark Knight ($1 Billion) and Inception ($837.1 Million).
Fifth place is a bit tricky to predict. More than likely we will see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem continue its slow burn theatrical run with another $4-$5 million. However, there are some smaller new releases hitting theaters that could pull in some decent money in this final weekend of the summer movie season. Liam Neeson returns to screens with his latest action film Retribution about a bank executive who receives a bomb threat while driving his children to school saying his car will explode if his children get out of his car. Since having a massive career resurgence in 2009 with Taken making him a genuine action star, his output in recent years has been on the forgettable side with his last starring role in Marlowe only generating $5.7 million worldwide. Retribution will not be the start of the next phase of his career, but I will say the trailer did look intriguing enough.
Also hitting screens is the faith based title The Hill starring Dennis Quaid. The film will play to audiences who love based on a true story sports biopics as the film follows the true story of Rickey Hill who was born with a degenerative spinal disease who ultimately grows up to sign with the Montreal Expos in 1995, and the faith based communities who are generally always willing to open their wallets for films geared towards them. As if this was the weekend for “Based on a True Story” movies, Academy Award Winner Guy Nattiv (for Skins, the 2018 Best Short Film Winner) brings the story of Golda Meir, the former Israeli Prime Minister to the big screen in the film Golda which is receiving a limited run this weekend.
The best reviewed movie of the weekend belongs to Bottoms. The Elizabeth Banks produced, Marshawn Lynch co-starring (you read that right) film currently has a score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and is looking to capitalize on its strong South By Southwest premiere with a slow rollout, having a limited release this week before expanding next weekend. And lest we forget that this weekend sees the 30th anniversary re-release of Jurassic Park coming to theaters in 3D. Having seen the 3D conversion when it was originally released 10 years ago and subsequently buying the 3D Blu Ray, I can say that the conversion of the 1993 classic is worth every penny as it features very strong 3D. Plus seeing Jurassic Park on the big screen again is worth the price of admission alone.
Will you be heading to theaters this weekend or are the streaming options of Vacation Friends 2 (on Hulu) or Adam Sandler’s You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah (on Netflix) all the entertainment you need? Let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to check back on Saturday when we have a brief update of this weekend’s box office numbers.
TOP FIVE PREDICTIONS:
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/box-office-predictions-gran-turismo-looking-at-soft-opening/