‘Barbie’ and ‘Gran Turismo’ both take first place at the box office – Variety

Gordon Timpen

‘Barbie’ and ‘Gran Turismo’ both clinched box office victory in a showdown that has a lot to do with film accounting and shifting definitions of what an opening weekend means.

Warner Bros., which endorsed “Barbie,” claims the film won the weekend for the fifth time, grossing $15.1 million last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, Sony, which produced Gran Turismo, claims its film topped the box office with $17.4 million.

Controversial is the fact that Gran Turismo’s opening number included both the $1.4 million it earned in Thursday previews and the $3.9 million it earned in weeks of special screenings before the Show earned includes. The studios routinely include Thursday’s preview earnings in their opening weekend results — Warner Bros. doesn’t dispute that. However, Sony seems to be applying a fairly liberal notion of what constitutes an opening weekend by including the weeks of other showings.

It has company here. Paramount did the same with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves when it launched in the spring, adding results from multiple preview screenings over its opening weekend. And in the darkest days of the pandemic, Warner Bros. has slotted 11 days of screenings into its $20 million “opening weekend” for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.”

Without the previews, Gran Turismo would have started in second place with $13.4 million, according to Warner Bros. In the end, it shouldn’t make much of a difference who’s ahead. “Barbie” is one of the biggest films of this year, grossing $1.34 billion. Gran Turismo, which has generated $53.8 million worldwide, still has a lot of catching up to do if it is to turn a profit. The racing adventure cost $60 million to produce and millions more to market.

Warner Bros. predicted on Sunday that “Barbie” would make $17.1 million over the weekend, but those estimates were revised down Monday.

Source: variety.com

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