Box Office Showdown: “Barbie” vs. “Gran Turismo” – Accounting Tricks and Opening Weekend Debate

In a head-to-head clash at the box office, both “Barbie” and “Gran Turismo” are vying for the crown, creating a spectacle that delves into the realms of movie bookkeeping and evolving interpretations of an opening weekend.

Warner Bros., the force behind “Barbie,” asserts its dominance by proclaiming its fifth consecutive victory of the weekend, amassing a commendable $15.1 million over the course of last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Counteracting this claim, Sony, the creative minds behind “Gran Turismo,” stand tall asserting their film’s reign atop the box office charts with an impressive $17.4 million.

The crux lies in that “Gran Turismo” bolsters its opening figures with a blend of earnings, including the $1.4 million reaped from Thursday previews and an additional $3.9 million amassed from weeks of special pre-show screenings.

It’s customary for studios to integrate Thursday preview earnings into their opening weekend tallies, a point Warner Bros. doesn’t contest. Nevertheless, Sony adopts a broader interpretation of an opening weekend by encompassing a stretch of prior screenings.

This isn’t an isolated incident. Paramount trod the same path with “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” melding results from multiple preview screenings to elevate its inaugural weekend performance during the spring season.

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Even in the gloomy days of the pandemic, Warner Bros. expanded the timeline to eleven days of screenings, attributing them to the $20 million so-called “opening” of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.”

Excluding the preview screenings, “Gran Turismo” would have secured the second spot with $13.4 million, as asserted by Warner Bros. Ultimately, the victor might not wield significant influence.

With an astounding $1.34 billion in its coffers, “Barbie” stands tall as one of the cinematic giants of this era. In contrast, “Gran Turismo,” despite its $53.8 million global earnings, faces an uphill battle in its quest to break even. The racing odyssey bore a production cost of $60 million and substantial marketing expenses.

As the weekend unfolded, Warner Bros. initially foresaw “Barbie” amassing $17.1 million, although these estimates encountered a downward revision on the subsequent Monday.