weekend box office

Thanks to glowing word of mouth (an A- Cinema Score) and a stellar 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Christopher Nolan’s war pic ‘Dunkirk’ topped even his previous hit ‘Interstellar‘ in its opening weekend.  ‘Interstellar’, another well-received flick, opened to $47M,  but ‘Dunkirk’ bested that with $50.5M.

The film, predictably, is mainly appealing to older males, but surprisingly, it’s also drawing a young female audience because of the fact that One Direction’s Harry Styles is making his acting debut in the film.  (To the tune of 67M social media posts.)  The film also stars Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branaugh, Cillian Murphy and Fionn Whitehead.

Fans recognize Hardy and Murphy from Nolan’s Batman franchise.  One insider said:

“Don’t ask me how, but I am done betting against Chris Nolan.”

One of the few comedies this summer to connect is the Malcolm D. Lee film ‘Girls Trip’, which is serving as counter programming to the usual summer blockbusters and benefits from appealing to the under-served African American female market.  This randy flick is by far outpacing another similar female ensemble comedy, ‘Rough Night’ starring Scarlett Johansson, which crashed and burned when it was released last month.  ‘Girls Trip’ stars Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish and Kate Walsh.

‘Girls Trip’ opened to $30.4M on a budget of $20M, so it has already made all of its money back.  Everything from here on out is pure profit.

According to Relish Mix:

“It’s encouraging to see an entire cast get behind a film — every cast member is social and activated, which is a true rarity. So, many of the YouTube views are surely driven by the super-social cast, led by Queen Latifah’s 18M followers.”

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ took in an additional $22M in its third week, while ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ amassed an additional $20.4M.  ‘Apes’ had a low opening for the franchise and despite good reviews, took a massive nose dive in its second week.

Sadly, that means Luc Besson’s passion project, the visionary sci-fi film ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ has been buried down at #5 with $17M.  Besson has been trying to make this movie– based on a French comic book he loved as a child– ever since he broke through with ‘The Fifth Element’.  Its budget was a whopping $180M.  So… ouch.

While the American audience may not have been familiar with ‘Valerian’, it is a known commodity in Europe and may do better there, as well as in other foreign markets like China, which tends to embrace big budget spectacles regardless of content, e.g. ‘Warcraft’.

While visually stunning, it doesn’t appear there was much substance underneath the flash, as it’s gotten a rather poor 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

(Also, just to note, while ‘The Fifth Element’ is now considered a classic, it also flopped when it was originally released.  Is it possible that ‘Valerian’ could follow suit?)

Though not in the Top Five any longer, ‘Wonder Woman’ hit $389M, besting ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, making it the most profitable movie of the summer and the second-highest-grossing movie of the year, behind ‘Beauty & The Beast’.

With summer winding down, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing any more smash successes like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’, ‘Wonder Woman’, etc.  Next week welcomes the release of the Charlize Theron shoot-’em-up ‘Atomic Blonde’ and ‘The Emoji Movie’.  Both could do fairly well, but don’t expect numbers on par with this year’s prior hits.

  1. Dunkirk (WB) – $50.5M
  2. Girls Trip (Universal) – $30.4M
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony/Marvel) – $22M
  4. War for the Planet of the Apes (Fox) – $20.4M
  5. Valerian And The City of A Thousand Planets (Eur/STX) – $17M

Source: Deadline