It’s National Cinema Day, and movie theaters are once again packed. This time, there are a few new movies to help counter-program the Barbenheimer craze, and it looks like Neill Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo has come out on top. The film was delayed at the last minute a few weeks ago from August 11 to August 25, but early screenings took place on the 11th and 18th to rev up (yes, pun intended) the word-of-mouth on the film.
The bet has paid off, with Gran Turismo making a decent $17.3 million in a dead weekend for new releases. Other films released this weekend, Retribution and The Hill, have made the top ten, with the Liam Neeson remake of 2015’s El desconocido grossing over $3.3 million on a $30 million budget. It’s not a great start for a once modestly bankable action star. As for The Hill, the film finished in ninth position with a $2.5 million cume. It’s a relatively decent start for what’s likely to be a low-budget drama, with Dennis Quaid headlining the picture.
Oscar-winner Guy Nattiv’s Golda was also released in 883 theatres and made a relatively decent $1.5 million. Time will tell if it will expand in more cinemas the following week, but it’s a relatively good start for a movie that has a mixed reception. As for other movies this weekend, Blue Beetle has dropped from first to third place (though many screenings in my area are now sold out thanks to National Cinema Day pricing tickets at $4) and grossed $12.7 million in its second weekend, while Barbie narrowly finished first with a $17.1 million cume this weekend.
Bottoms from Emma Seligman had a strong start in its limited debut. I’m only ten theaters, it grossed $516K, a per-theater average of $51,625. That’s the fourth highest per-theater average of 2023 so far.
IMAX has announced that Barbie will be released on their screens on September 22, with exclusive post-credits footage attached to the movie. I have a feeling that, while Barbie has been knocked out of the top spot for the past two weeks, it’ll make another splash when the IMAX version arrives in theatres soon, especially during a week when there’s not much going on. As more movies get delayed due to the ongoing strikes, expect an even slower fall at the box office than what’s happening.
Some box office pundits have argued that we’ve started to feel the effects of the strike on the box office, but they have been small compared to what’s coming. The end of August weekend is usually quiet at the box office (save for Cinema Day). However, as the fall movie season ramps up with plenty of festivals and Awards-worthy movies without their stars promoting them, expect a massive slowdown in the coming weeks.
Here’s the full list of the top ten films of the weekend:
- Gran Turismo (Sony): $17.3M – 3,856 theatres
- Barbie (Warner Bros.): $17.1M (-18.7%) – 3,736 theatres
- Blue Beetle (Warner Bros/DC): $12.7M (-49%) – 3,781 theatres
- Oppenheimer (Universal): $9.0M (-16.1%) – 2,872 theatres
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Paramount): $6.1M (-28.6%) – 3,145 theatres
- Meg 2: The Trench (Warner Bros): $5.1M (-24.6%) – 2,932 theatres
- Strays (Universal): $4.6M (-43.6%) – 3,232 theatres
- Retribution (Lionsgate): $3.3M – 1,750 theatres
- The Hill (Briarcliff Entertainment): $2.5M – 1,570 theatres
- Haunted Mansion (Disney): $2.1M (-30.6%) – 1,630 theatres
Source: Box Office Mojo