Sony's sports action film "Gran Turismo" didn't exactly roar to the front of the North American box office, but did make it there on a slow late-August weekend, beating a still-turbo-powered "Barbie."
Based on a popular video game, "Gran Turismo" took in an estimated $17.3 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
"This is a lukewarm opening for an action film based on a video game," particularly compared to previous game-based films like "Warcraft" ($439 million in worldwide ticket sales) and "Rampage" ($428 million), analyst David A. Gross said.
The movie stars David Harbour and Orlando Bloom in a story about a racing academy that recruits skilled video gamers to train them as real race-car drivers.
Warner Bros.' "Barbie," meantime, has remained a steady seat-filler, with its $17.1 million take in its sixth week out propelling it to a $594 million domestic total.
The Greta Gerwig film recently overtook "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" ($574 million) as the year's domestic box office champ. Add to that the $745 million "Barbie" has earned overseas.
Analysts said Sony's accounting of ticket sales for "Gran Turismo" was a bit wonky (including millions in pre-sales) and predicted "Barbie" might, in the final tally, be the weekend's Number One -- as she is Ken's.
Last weekend's leader, superhero flick "Blue Beetle" from DC Studios and Warner Bros., dipped to third, at $12.8 million, a nearly 50 percent drop from the previous weekend. Xolo Mariduena, as the Beetle, became the first live-action Latino protagonist.
In fourth was Universal's "Oppenheimer," earning an estimated $9 million. The atom bomb origin story has now surpassed $300 million in domestic earnings, with an additional $477 million overseas.
And in fifth place was Paramount's animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem," the latest chapter in the heroes-in-a-half-shell saga, at $6.1 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
"Meg 2: The Trench" ($5.1 million)
"Strays" ($4.7 million)
"Retribution" ($3.5 million)
"The Hill" ($2.5 million)
"Haunted Mansion" ($2.1 million)