Box Office: ‘Gran Turismo’ & ‘Barbie’ Duke It Out for First Place Domestically; ‘Blue Beetle’ Dips 49%

National Cinema Day is today, folks, so grabbing $4 tickets and expensive concession items will be in the works all day! Poor joke aside, this weekend had an influx of past releases this year grabbing some extra dollars in honor of the second iteration of the remembrance of cinema. The Little Mermaid added 1,560 theaters to earn $510k (in its fourteenth weekend), while The Super Mario Bros. Movie nabbed $280k from 1,383 theaters added (in its twenty-first weekend).

Battling it out for first place was rather coruscating this weekend, as one movie backed up the video game train and turned it into a reality, while the other wants to keep its doll legs rolling for the sake of commercialism and pink to become the highest-grossing feature of 2023. Numbers aren’t official, but Gran Turismo eeked ever so slightly out ahead of Barbie (subject to change once tomorrow arrives) for gold this weekend. The $60 million budgeted feature will need to continue racing if it hopes to break even, but $17.3 million domestically and $53.8 million worldwide is not shabby. An ‘A’ from CinemaScore detracts from more of the mixed reviews and lack of star power in the race-car movie. Sony’s antics of trying to shower praise from early screenings didn’t do much to make an impact other than compete with Greta Gerwig’s discount Top Gun: Maverick (regarding legs) for a weekend, and it’s a reminder that studios could only ever bank on a film as much as they respect their product.

Barbie took home $17.1 million domestically in its sixth weekend, and it should pass the $600 million domestic mark by Tuesday. At $1.34 billion worldwide, it’ll topple Mario this week to become the highest-earning feature of 2023. A play for $650 million domestic and $1.5 billion worldwide will be in the works for the flamboyant blockbuster. Its mature pop-culture counterpart, Oppenheimer, took in $9 million and has passed $300 million domestically and $775 million worldwide. At this rate, Nolan’s latest bio-picture will likely top Inception ($825.7 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ($845.5 million). The Barbenheimer trend ruled the summer, so we’ll see how much longer it can leg out for the fall season to predictably put them both on the Oscar contender’s list next year.

DCU’s Blue Beetle dipped 49% in its second weekend, putting it at $46.3 million domestically and $81.8 worldwide. The soft debut, coupled with these legs, will make its chance of victory become another mere disappointment in a string of them for Warner Brothers. It was cruel for Marvel and DC to wait to diversify their products until before superhero movies guaranteed sticking as ‘events.’ Folks have clamored for something more intriguing out of the genre ever since the multiverse wagon unfurled its chaotic wheels (although that concept got burned through rapidly). The latest superhero could get over $175 million worldwide, but we’ll have to remain hopeful that it can leg out for the next few weeks.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is legging out well next to the Barbenheimer folk and remains a solid family pick for those enjoying its star-strudded cast voicing and animation. It should pass $100 million domestically by the end of this sentence and end its run at around $170-180 million worldwide (a neat win for Paramount). Meg 2: The Trench has passed $350 million worldwide (thanks once again to overseas numbers), Strays has earned $21.3 million worldwide, and Haunted Mansion will barely crawl towards $100 million worldwide (a bludgeoning collapse for Disney, who should’ve dropped this film in October season). Newcomers Retribution and The Hill earned $3.34 million and $2.51 million, respectively.

Talk To Me has passed $50 million worldwide, and Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 has crept past $550 million worldwide. Tom Cruise will have to settle for the underwhelming in the face of Barbenheimer, it seems.

Next weekend sees the release of The Equalizer 3, The Good Mother, and All Fun and Games.

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