Video Game Blockbuster Outruns ‘Barbie’

in Entertainment, Movies

gran-turismo-barbie

Credit: ITM

Mattel and Warner Bros. have been sitting pretty like Barbie in a convertible as the movie adaptation of the iconic Jane-of-all-trades doll has made over $1 billion in since its release. Barbie outran the competition for five weeks against other movies, like Haunted Mansion, Oppenheimer, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Yet, the record had to end some time as Blue Beetle defeated the pink-cladded heavyweight initially. The podium has switched again as a new racing blockbuster beat both Barbie and Blue Beetle to the finish line this past week.

gran-turismo-actors
Credit: Sony Pictures

Gran Turismo was announced the winner of the box office with a $17.3 million domestic opening. This is nowhere near the opening numbers of Barbie, but good reviews and a video game-loving audience carried the movie to the top spot. Director, Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium), helmed the movie that starred David Harbour, Djimon Hounsou and Orlando Bloom, with up-and-comer, Archie Madekwe.

gran-turismo-director
Credit: Sony Pictures

The movie is based on the true story of the gamer turned pro-racer, Jann Mardenborough. He was a racing game virtuoso that competed in the GT Academy. This was Nissan-sponsored competition where Gran Turismo gamers could take their skills from virtual to reality if they were able to win the tournament. Mardenborough came out victorious in 2011 and achieved a successful racing career afterwards.

gran-turismo-jann-mardenborough
Credit: WTF1

While the movie specifically focuses on Jann’s story, Blomkamp still seized the opportunity to pay homage to the iconic video game franchise of the same name. Here are some of the notable Easter eggs:

  • Using the same sound effects from the game, like when the title card pops up on the screen.
  • Mimicking the same cinematics of the game with racing sequences of the movie, such as, driver track lines and floating number graphics above the vehicles.
  • The creator of the Gran Turismo video game, Kazunori Yamauchi, has a quick interaction with the young speedster.
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Credit: Sunday Times Driving
  • They used Mardenborough real PlayStation Network username.
  • Cinematographer, Jacques Jouffret, utilized the same shifting camera angles as the game during racing sequences.
gran-turismo-racing
Credit: Sony Pictures

This thrilling racing spectacle is a huge victory for Sony Pictures as they were hoping to topple “Pink Fever.” Many cinema lovers and Hollywood professionals have been imploring movie-goers to not only plunk down money for remakes, reboots, sequels and superheroes. However, Gran Turismo cleverly attracted video game fans while still cultivating a refreshing, feel-good story based on real events.

Gran Turismo, Blue Beetle and Barbie are all currently playing in theaters.

 

in Entertainment, Movies

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