Weekend Box Office Report: Dunkirk, Girls Trip soar as Valerian bombs

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It may not have looked like it, but not all of America was actually at Comic-Con this weekend past. Instead of geeking out over movie news, some people actually went to the movies. And by “some people”, I actually mean a lot of people and most of them went to check out Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

The director’s WWII drama is being hailed far and wide as a masterpiece with heavy Oscar contender status. Whether because of this critical buzz or Nolan’s prestige as a filmmaker, US audiences flocked to see it giving the film a $50 million opening. That figure bests the $47 million opening of his last film, Interstellar, and is the 4th best opening of Nolan’s career behind Inception ($62 million), The Dark Knight ($158 million) and The Dark Knight Rises ($160 million). Internationally, Dunkirk still needs to open in several markets (including our own), but it already doubled its US takings where it did open this weekend, putting it on good footing early.

Elsewhere, opening this weekend with nowhere even remotely close to the buzz of Nolan’s latest, is the R-rated female-led comedy Girls Trip. Ever since the breakout of Bridesmaids, many studios have tried to mimic that success, with the vast majority failing in their attempts over the years. However, Universal’s ensemble comedy starring Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah seems to be one of the few genre success stories as it scored a $30 million opening. With just a $19 million production price tag and an A+ Cinemascore, it looks like a new franchise has just been born.

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Unfortunately for veteran director Luc Besson it looks his own new franchise is still-born instead. The Fifth Element director’s latest sci-fi opus, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, has been receiving mixed reviews from critics. Most praise the film’s jaw-dropping visuals and imaginative world-building but feel that Besson dropped the ball everywhere else. Well, it appears that audiences got that memo, as Valerian could only eke out a fifth place worthy $17 million debut in the US. Ouch. Reports have been varied, but most peg Besson’s VFX heavy film to have a massive production budget in the region of $200-210 million, so double ouch.

Valerian only opens internationally this coming weekend, and it’s expected to do big business in France, which is the origin country of the graphic novel on which it is base. However, at this point in time, things are looking dire. Besson has been talking about the fact that he’s already started writing two potential sequels to the movie, but unless a box office miracle happens, I think he may just be wasting his time.

Let’s see what the rest of the US box office chart looks like:

No.Movie Name Weekend gross Percentage change US Domestic gross Worldwide gross Last Week's Position
1Dunkirk $50.5 million NA $50.5 million $105.9 million NE
2Girls Trip $30.3 million NA $30.3 million $30.3 million NE
3Spider-Man: Homecoming $22 million -50% $251.7 million $571.7 million 2nd
4War for the Planet of the Apes $20.4 million -63% $97.7 million $147.8 million 1st
5Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets $17 million NA $17 million $17 million NE
6Despicable Me 3 $12.7 million -34% $213.3 million $727.4 million 3rd
7Baby Driver $6 million -31% $84.2 million $118.6 million 4th
8The Big Sick $5 million -33% $24.5 million $24.6 million 5th
9Wonder Woman $4.6 million -31% $389 million $779.4 million 6th
10Wish Upon $2.4 million -54% $10.5 million $10.5 million 7th
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Last Updated: July 24, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Actually feel sorry for Beson. I really wanted Valerian to work. So disappointed.

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    You could already see from the trailer for Valerian, that this movie was trying to hard and giving off a “Kids running around in space” vibe to it.

    Nobody wants to watch that …

    • Magoo

      Yes, kind of like how Max Steel turned out.

  • Chuckles von Clausewitz III

    Jesus… Girl’s Trip?

    • Magoo

      ^FASCIST!

      • Chuckles von Clausewitz III

        That’s Dr Fascist to you, MISTER Magoo.

  • HvR

    Bloody hell, $730million. So guess we are getting another Despicable Me.

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