Sony’s racing drama “Gran Turismo” is driving to a sluggish $10 million to $12 million in its first weekend of release.
The film lands in 3,800 North American theaters on Friday and will compete with last weekend’s champion “Blue Beetle” for second place on domestic charts behind “Barbie.” Greta Gerwig’s box office behemoth is expected to return to the No. 1 spot in its sixth weekend of release, with projections of $12 million to $14 million between Friday and Sunday. So far, “Barbie” has grossed $572 million and is days away from overtaking “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($572 million) as the highest-grossing domestic release of the year.
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National Cinema Day, which takes place on Aug. 27, could throw off estimates across the board. That’s because movie tickets on Sunday will cost under $4 — much less than the average ticket price — at participating theaters. More than 3,000 locations, including approximately 30,000 available screens, are expected to take part in the one-day event.
Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”) directed “Gran Turismo,” which is adapted from the video game of the same name. Critics have been mixed on the $60 million-budgeted movie, which tells the true story of a teenage video gamer who takes on the world of professional race car driving. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman positively reviewed the film and praised the “spontaneous humanistic grace, and the racing sequences.”
It may be a close battle between “Gran Turismo” and “Blue Beetle” — unless the latter manages to hold on better than its DC predecessors, “The Flash” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” at the box office. After debuting to just $25 million, the latest superhero spectacle looks to drop by 60% or more in its sophomore outing with ticket sales around $8.5 million to $10 million.
Elsewhere, Liam Neeson’s action-thriller “Retribution” is targeting a single digit debut of $2 million to $3 million from 1,800 theaters. Those lackluster ticket sales are similar to the various Neeson vehicles, such as “The Marksman” ($3 million debut), “Blacklight” ($3.5 million debut) and “Memory” ($3.1 million debut), which are far more popular on premium video-on-demand than they are in theaters.
In the film, Neeson plays a dad who is driving with his two kids when he receives a phone call from an anonymous assailant, who claims there’s a bomb in the car. Unable to leave the vehicle, he has to figure out a way to keep his children and himself alive. “Retribution” currently has a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In limited release, Emma Seligman’s “Bottoms” is landing in 10 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin. The film, which stars “Shiva Baby’s” Rachel Sennot and “The Bear’s” Ayo Edebiri, debuted at SXSW and cost under $15 million. The well-reviewed “Bottoms” follows two high schoolers who starts a fight club to meet girls and lose their virginity. MGM and Orion are releasing the film.
In Variety’s review, Gleiberman says “Bottoms” is “unlike any high-school comedy you’ve ever seen.” The Gen Z comedy, he wrote, “walks a tightrope between sensitivity and insanity (with a knowing bit of inanity)” and plays as “a satire of victimization, a satire of violence, and a satire of itself.”
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