As summer movie season winds down, one major studio release will aim to top the box office in its debut as domestic theaters and moviegoers celebrate the second National Cinema Day this Sunday.
August 25, 2023 (WIDE)
Opening Weekend Range: $13M-$22M
- Gran Turismo has the IP and video game fan base to help boost interest in its debut. Sneak previews over the last few weeks have provided a unique promotional strategy to aid in pre-release awareness and audience word of mouth. A premium screen footprint that includes IMAX is another plus.
- On the penultimate weekend of the summer season, holdovers will continue to drive a significant share of business. Barbie and Oppenheimer will remain significant players in their sixth frame, with the latter returning to share screen time at digital IMAX locations and enjoying its final planned weekend in 70mm IMAX runs.
- National Cinema Day will be held at more than 3,000 domestic venues on Sunday with virtually all movies, formats, and showtimes priced at an economical $4 per ticket, alongside various concession deals from exhibitors. The inaugural National Cinema Day last year attracted more than 8 million moviegoers, driving the highest theatrical foot traffic of 2022.
This year, there’s a stronger lineup of widely appealing films already playing in theaters, with the likes of The Little Mermaid, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Jurassic Park, and others making a brief return to screens as part of the festivities.
- Gran Turismo, like other recent films, lacks the traditional marketing prowess that would have been in play without the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. Early critics’ reviews are also somewhat mixed, as the Rotten Tomatoes score sits at 59 percent as of Wednesday morning.
- Lionsgate and Briarcliff Entertainment will release Retribution and The Hill, respectively, this weekend, though minimal marketing indicates limited box office potential. Of the two, The Hill has the most sleeper potential. Similarly, Golda will open courtesy of Fathom Events and Bleecker Street, but in semi-wide release. Due to the nature of these three releases and the debatable halo effect of National Cinema Day, forecasts are not currently offered.
- While National Cinema Day could still prove to be successful by certain measures, there is increased volatility surrounding all forecasts this weekend due to the celebration’s positioning on Sunday—putting it immediately before a work day for most adults and a school day for more than 60 percent of K-12 students around the country. Last year’s National Cinema Day had the theoretically stronger advantage of landing on the Saturday during Labor Day (Monday) weekend.
Current projection ranges call for an 78% increase from the comparable weekend’s top ten aggregate of $41.4 million in 2022 and a 12% decrease from 2019’s $87.9 million.
For reference, the top ten earned $42.4 million over the three-day Labor Day weekend when National Cinema Day was celebrated on Sunday during the first frame of September last year.
|Film||Studio||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, August 27||Fri Location Count Projection (as of Wed)||3-Day % Change from Last Wknd|
|Gran Turismo||Sony Pictures||$17,400,000||$17,400,000||~3,800||NEW|
|Barbie||Warner Bros. Pictures||$15,800,000||$593,700,000||~3,900||-25%|
|Blue Beetle||Warner Bros. Pictures||$12,400,000||$46,700,000||~3,871||-50%|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem||Paramount Pictures||$7,500,000||$99,800,000||~3,300||-12%|
|Meg 2: The Trench||Warner Bros. Pictures||$4,400,000||$73,600,000||~3,000||-35%|
|Haunted Mansion||Walt Disney Pictures||$2,600,000||$62,800,000||~1,800||-14%|
|Talk to Me||A24||$2,300,000||$41,500,000||~1,500||-27%|
|Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One||Paramount Pictures||$2,100,000||$168,100,000||~1,800||-23%|
All forecasts are subject to revision/finalization before the first confirmation of opening previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.
Theater counts are either studio estimates OR unofficial projections if preceded by “~”.
The above table does not necessarily represent the top ten as some studios do not finalize weekend location counts and/or an intent to report box office returns prior to publishing.
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