A while ago I loved doing weekend box office roundup stories and I kind of dropped them, but I’m bringing them back for every Sunday going forward. Anyways this weekend added to an already competitive month of films and provided the third consecutive different #1 film of July 2017 in “Dunkirk””. While the Christopher Nolan led war epic exploded onto the scene, a second major release failed to gain steam and a third new release surprised. Let take a look at how the weekend turn out.
No surprise that Christopher Nolan found another massive hit in his war drama “Dunkirk”, a poignant and artistic look at the evacuation of Dunkirk in France in the early years of World War II. The film has received critical acclaim and is being touted as one of the greatest war films of the era and audiences seem to agree with the U.S. gross for the film being around $50.5 million and that’s almost doubled if you consider worldwide ticket sales bringing the film over its estimated $100 million production budget in its opening weekend. It should recoup it’s $150 million dollars estimated overall budget in no time. It’s a strong start for a epic film that marks the third major box office critical and financial success story in a row in July and the third different film to hold the top spot in a month. You can read my review of “Dunkirk” here. You can also take a look at my “10 Fun Facts About ‘Dunkirk’” list if you are interested in that before seeing the film yourself.
“Dunkirk” wasn’t the only success story. “Girls Trip”, a comedy featuring an impressive all-black female ensemble cast of characters who are lifelong friends take part in an overdue trip to New Orleans, received its own critical praise and topped off at $30 million to claim second place in its opening weekend, well above it’s $19 million to $27 million production budget. It’s a shot in the arm for the comedy genre, which this year has seen very few passable films and have failed to really make a mark in ticket sales. It’s a promising start for a comedy many felt would be overshadowed by bigger releases over the weekend. I have not decided yet if I will see this film, but it’s positive reception from my fellow critics makes it tempting. Have to admit the comedy genre has let me down this year but with “The Big Sick” and now “Girls Trip”, the genre might be headed in the right direction. You can read my review of “The Big Sick” here if you’d like another great comedy to check out.
One of those bigger films I mentioned above that was supposed to beat “Girls Trip” was the third and final major wide release of the weekend, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”. Many felt this film would underperform from the start and it actually did in a big way, taking in a little over $17 million on a $209 million budget despite decent word of mouth from viewers and a bit of unexpected critical appreciation. The film is supposedly meant to to be the start of a possible franchise for STX Entertainment and is the most expensive independent film ever made. There have been some theories as to why the film didn’t attract much attention, but most saw the writing on the wall as Valerian was considered a potential box office bomb earlier this year with poor interest coming from surveys of potential viewers. Look for my review of this film to be posted tomorrow!
Elsewhere on the chart “Spider-Man Homecoming” held on the third place with $22 million while last week’s top film “War for the Planet of the Apes” dropped 63% to fourth. The remainder of the top ten included “Despicable Me 3”, “Baby Driver”, “The Big Sick”, “Wonder Woman”, and “Wish Upon”.
With one more weekend of July left, there is the potential that a fourth consecutive different number one could be in place by the end of next weekend with two big releases on the horizon. Focus Features will release “Atomic Blonde”, a highly anticipated action thriller that sees Charlize Theron as a top-level spy agent trying to take down and espionage ring. For the children and kid-at-heart…and those who have an obsession with social media “The Emoji Movie” will also hit the big screen bringing your favorite cell-phone based smiley faces to life courtesy of Columbia. We will see if either of these films will top the box office next Sunday,