This weekend showed the possibility of two trends coming true: Effects-driven blockbusters will decline and original content will thrive. Christopher Nolan’s war film and the female-led crude comedy both outgrossed expectations. Could we be witnessing the start of a new phase in Hollywood?
Warner Bros. placed a lot of trust in Christopher Nolan when cutting him a $150 million check and approving him to make an indie war film disguised as a summer blockbuster. Leading into the weekend, the studio predicted ‘Dunkirk‘ opening between $35 million and $40 million. However, the film defied expectations by not only landing at the top of the box office, but grossing $50.5 million. Of that total, $11.5 million came from 402 IMAX theaters. The movie’s international performance was just as strong. From 46 markets, it earned $55.4 million, $7 million of which came from 231 IMAX locations. With a $105.9 million worldwide debut, ‘Dunkirk’ is off to a strong start.
In a surprise move, ‘Girls Trip‘ performed more like ‘Bad Moms’ than ‘Rough Night’. The comedy’s stellar $30.3 million opening easily landed it in second place. Considering that the movie was produced with a budget of $19 million, ‘Girls Trip’ will be profitable in no time. This should be a lesson to the filmmakers of movies like ‘Snatched’ and ‘The House’. In the long run, comedies with unnecessarily high budgets are rarely big successes.
In its third week, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming‘ once again fell harder than expected. Dipping 50% in attendance, the movie made $22 million and finished in third place. The $175 million Marvel flick has grossed $251.7 million domestically and $320 million overseas, bringing its worldwide draw up to $571.7 million.
Just as ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Transformers’ did this summer, ‘War for the Planet of the Apes‘ showed signs of sequel fatigue. Although it unexpectedly swung into the top spot last weekend, ‘Apes’ dropped a hard 64% and fell into fourth place. The $20.4 million weekend brings its domestic ten-day total up to $97.7 million. Combined with the $77.1 million foreign total, the threequel has $174.8 million all told. Taking into account its $150 million budget, I can’t help but wonder if this franchise will go extinct after this.
Luc Besson’s $210 million CGI-heavy space epic ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets‘ tanked. As the most expensive movie to ever come out of France, its fifth place $17 million opening is a bust. The film’s international kick-off begins this weekend. While it’s expected to play much better overseas than it did in the United States, it’s still going to struggle to make the estimated $500 million necessary to get out of the red.
In other news, the domestic total of eight-week-old ‘Wonder Woman‘ climbed up to $389 million, topping the $387 domestic total for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ and making it the highest-grossing domestic release of 2017.
1. ‘Dunkirk’ (Warner Bros.) – $50,500,000
2. ‘Girls Trip’ (Universal) – $30,370,720
3. ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (Sony) – $22,010,000
4. ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $20,400,000
5. ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ (STX) – $17,020,000
6. ‘Despicable Me 3′ (Universal) – $12,714,475
7. Baby Driver’ (Sony) – $6,000,000
8. ‘The Big Sick’ (Lionsgate) – $5,000,000
9. ‘Wonder Woman’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,630,000
10. ‘Wish Upon’ (Broad Green) – $2,477,816