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channelnews : Gran Turismo vs Barbie: Neck and Neck Race for Box Office Success.

'Gran Turismo' inches ahead of 'Barbie' in the box office lead, but 'Barbie' expected to have sold more tickets.

The race for the top spot at the box office is heating up between two films: "Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story" and "Barbie." According to recent estimates, "Gran Turismo" has slightly edged ahead of "Barbie."

Sony Pictures reported that "Gran Turismo" opened with $17.3 million over the weekend, while Warner Bros. estimated that "Barbie" achieved $17.1 million in its sixth week of release. However, these figures could change once final ticket sales are counted.

Although "Gran Turismo" currently holds the top spot, it is highly likely that "Barbie" sold more tickets than any other movie this past weekend.

To boost ticket sales during a slow period, U.S. movie theaters held the second annual National Cinema Day on Sunday. They offered $4 tickets to all films and showtimes at nearly all theaters. It was expected that "Barbie" would be the biggest draw, especially with repeat viewings. With $594.8 million in ticket sales, "Barbie" has become the biggest hit of the year in the country, surpassing "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." It is also on track to surpass "Mario" worldwide, with current earnings of $1.34 billion.

National Cinema Day was created as a strategy to attract moviegoers to theaters and recover lost ticket revenue. Last year, it became the busiest day of the year in theaters, with 8.1 million moviegoers.

According to Jeff Goldstein, the Distribution Chief for Warner Bros., "'Barbie' was without any question the biggest movie this past weekend." Despite this, "Gran Turismo" had a slight edge in gross earnings due to Sony factoring in $3.9 million from previous screenings and $1.4 million in previews.

Goldstein also acknowledged the success of "Barbie" and expressed his admiration for the film's filmmakers, saying, "To take away the number one spot, which would make it five weekends at number one since it opened, kind of doesn't feel right for the 'Barbie' filmmakers who really deserve the accolades."

"Gran Turismo," which had a production cost of $60 million, tells the story of a young man who becomes a real-life racer thanks to his love for the PlayStation video game. Sony had to rely on preview screenings and fan events to promote the film, as the ongoing actors and writers strike limited their ability to promote films with casts.

Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst for Comscore, emphasized the success of "Barbie" as a global blockbuster, stating, "No matter how you slice it, 'Barbie' is always going to be a winner no matter the outcome of this weekend. Sony, left without stars to go out and promote the movie, had to rely on the audience becoming the marketing voice."

In terms of other films at the box office, DC Comics' "Blue Beetle" dropped to third place with $12.8 million, bringing its total earnings to $46.3 million in two weeks. "Oppenheimer" moved to fourth place with $9 million in its sixth week, surpassing $300 million domestically and reaching $777.1 million globally, similar to the success of "Barbie."

There were also some new releases in theaters. MGM's "Bottoms" grossed $51,600 per location in 10 theaters, while Liam Neeson's "Retribution" debuted with $3.3 million in 1,750 theaters. Dennis Quaid's "The Hill" launched with $2.5 million from 1,570 locations, and Helen Mirren's "Golda" debuted with $2 million in 883 theaters.

Sources indicate that the North American box office is $70 million away from reaching $4 billion. The success of "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" has contributed to a comeback, following the underperformance of films like "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," "The Flash," and "Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One."

If the box office does reach $4 billion, it will be the first time since 2019. Final domestic figures for this past weekend's ticket sales will be released shortly.

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