This week’s domestic box office numbers were a mixture of met expectations and pleasant surprises. Basically, if you thought a film released last week was going to make money, it made the money.
Let’s start with Dunkirk. Christopher Nolan is basically a review-proof guarantee of money in the bank, but even the most ambitious predictions for his latest film didn’t foresee this kind of opening weekend success. Dunkirk had a staggering $50.5m opening weekend, of which just over 20% of that came from IMAX screens (from only 402 of 3720 locations). It’s rare to see any film become an IMAX event, but Dunkirk has managed it. With a reported budget of about $100m, the film seems to have made back that amount worldwide already, so if this doesn’t end the year as one of the top 10 highest grossing films of 2017, I will be very surprised.
Even with that massive competition, Girls Trip took in $30.4m, making it the highest grossing live-action comedy of the year so far. The comedy is getting strong reviews and hey, turns out people like funny movies about black women living their best lives that aren’t defined by white dudes. Who knew?! All think-pieces on a postcard, please.
And then we come to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Despite opening in over 3500 locations, Luc Besson’s epic came in 5th and grossed around $17m, from a budget of $209m. Ouch. Honestly, that’s way more than I expected it to make. It’s technically the most expensive indie film of all time, but the flop will be cushioned by foreign pre-sales and tax subsidies. Vive la France.
As for other Summer releases, Wonder Woman is now officially the movie of the season, with its $389m gross making it the top earner this Summer ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Next weekend, the box office battle shall commence between Charlize Theron’s assassin thriller Atomic Blonde, and Sony’s barrel scraping animation The Emoji Movie. Place your bets now.