Friday Midday: Realize that National Cinema Day on Sunday is a wild card for all movies at the weekend box office, so consider these estimates carefully. It’s already clear that business on National Cinema Day Sunday will be significantly up over Saturday with EntTelligence reporting Sunday ticket presales +700%-plus over Saturday. It’s possible that Warner Bros’ Barbie and family features will see significant spikes.
Gran Turismo at 3,856 theaters is seeing $8M for Friday which includes in total $5.3M in previews from not just Thursday, but ten days of previews. The outlook for the weekend is $15M-$16M. Clarification here: on Shazam, Warners rolled that advance screening money into the pic’s total so the 3-day came out to be $53.5M with a total of $56.8M (meaning they didn’t roll that cash into the pic’s first Friday). In regards to some distributors’ pearl-clutching over Sony rolling the advance previews into Friday, others aren’t balking because this is the ‘Code Red’ (to use a term from A Few Good Men) that many studios have adopted in the millennium preview era of gross reporting: They typically load advance monies into Friday. There’s nothing unusual here. C’mon, studios, you’re starting movies on Thursdays at 12noon and calling it Friday.
Now even though Barbie per industry estimates is seeing $4M today and around $15.8M (-25%) at 3,736 for the weekend, she could very well go nuts on National Cinema Day Sunday and wind up winning the weekend, even with Gran Turismo‘s advance monies built into its Friday-Sunday. By Sunday, Barbie is looking to stand at $593M at the end of her sixth weekend, $7M shy of the six century domestic mark.
Warners has third place bragging rights with Blue Beetle at 3,871 theaters with an estimated $3M in his second Friday, -70%, for an estimated second weekend of $10.5M, -58% for a running total of $44M. By the way, that second weekend take is better than that of Shazam: Fury of the Gods which did $9.3M.
Universal’s Oppenheimer at 2,872 theaters is seeing a sixth Friday of $2.2M, and a 3-day of $7.8M (-27%) putting the Christopher Nolan’s running total by Sunday at $298.8M, becoming his third highest grossing movie at the domestic B.O., ahead of Inception ($293M) and behind The Dark Knight ($530M) and The Dark Knight Rises ($448M).
Fifth goes to Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem with a $5.9M fourth weekend at 3,145 theaters, -31%, after a $1.5M Friday. Running total looks to be near $98M.
Roadside Attractions’ Liam Neeson movie, Retribution, is seeing $1M today for a $3M weekend in industry projections at 1,750 theaters. Critics loathe it at 30% Rotten, but audiences on the RT meter like it better at 72%.
Friday AM: “You’re not actually going to allow them to do that, are you?”
Such are the gripes across the City of Angels from rival distributors about Sony’s public-facing acknowledgment that they’ve previewed Gran Turismo over the last two weekends, lagniappe box office which will be included in Friday’s total.
Yesterday starting from 2PM showtimes, the feature take of the Sony Playstation game earned $1.4M at 3,156 theaters, including PLF and Imax monies. The Neill Blomkamp-directed movie has a shot at No. 1 this weekend making $12M-$15M at 3,800 theaters.
Sony at the end of July decided at the last minute to move Gran Turismo‘s wide opening from Aug. 11 to Aug. 25. This was for several reasons: one, to get away from the heat of Barbenheimer and also to create word of mouth on a movie that doesn’t have its stars to promote due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Sony was transparent with the town that they were holding previews. It’s not always public knowledge when a studio is holding advance screenings for a movie.
In major markets such as LA, cinemas have been playing Gran Turismo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; two weekends back-to-back. We’ve heard that preview cash has amounted to $3M+, but Sony hasn’t verified that yet.
As far as those rivals whining about Sony including the cash in this weekend’s gross — let he without sin cast the first stone. Y’all have juiced your weekends and Fridays with preview money going back to forever. Hello! New Line’s Shazam back in 2019 boasted a preview figure of $9.2M which included a robust advance Fandango-sponsored screening. Paramount and eOne’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves made $5.6M in previews which included Thursday showtimes (starting at 3PM), as well as Amazon sneaks among other pre-screenings. That studio was holding advance screenings for Dungeons and Dragons because they believed in the film and also wanted to get the word out. The Batman preview figure included $4M Tuesday previews in its overall preview figure of $17.6M back in March 2022. I can keep listing and boring you.
The Rotten Tomatoes critics score is now 60% fresh on Gran Turismo, however, audiences love it: Comscore/Screen Engine Postrak exits show 5 stars for general audiences, five stars from parents and 4 1/2 from kids under 12. Thursday audience saw 87% general audience, 6% parent and 7% kids. Guy leaning at 68% yesterday with the 18-34 set at 50%. Guys over 25 (46%) and women over 25 (22%) were the leading demos and respectively gave the pic its best scores of 90% and 96%. Gran Turismo before P&A cost $60M.
How much does the second annual National Cinema Day on Sunday dilute the box office? That’s the question and while we will have some indicators soon, the overall verdict will be known on Monday morning. All showtimes for all movies and formats are $4. Who’s going?
Briarcliff Entertianment’s faith-based Dennis Quaid movie The Hill did $110K last night in previews. That pic, along with other wide entries Roadside Attractions/StudioCanal/Picture Company’s Retribution and Bleecker Street’s Golda are all expected to do in the single digits.
The rest of Thursday went as follows, ranked by Thursday gross:
- Barbie (WB) 4,003 theaters Thurs $2.3M (-10% from Wed) Week $31.9M (-40%), Total $577.7M/Wk 5
- Blue Beetle (WB) 3,871 theaters Thurs $1.34M (-35%) Week $33.5M/Wk 1
- Oppenheimer (Uni) 3,321 theaters Thurs $1.28M (-4%) Week $16.3M (-44%), Total $291M/Wk 5
- TMNT: Mutant Mayhem (Par) 2,312 theaters, Thurs $770K (-14%), Week $12.3M (-46%), Total $92M/Wk 3
- Strays (Uni) 3,223 theaters Thurs $628K (-9%), Week $11.4M/Wk 1