'Dunkirk' Delivers $50.5M Debut, 'Girls Trip' Opens with $30M and 'Valerian' Stumbles
by Brad Brevet
July 23, 2017
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk became the first non-franchise film to top the weekend box office this summer and the first since March of this year as it delivered over $50 million this weekend. Additionally, Universal's Girls Trip played strong, finishing in second position, while STX's release of EuropaCorp's Valerian failed to take off. Also, for a second weekend in a row, we have another franchise title dipping over 60% in its second weekend in release.
With an estimated $50.5 million, WB's release of Dunkirk finished in first position from 3,720 locations. Of that gross a whopping 23% ($11.7 million) was from IMAX showings at just 402 locations ($29,129 PTA). Heading into the weekend the critics had already expressed their love for the film (92% on RottenTomatoes and 94 on Metacritic) and audiences tended to agree. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, though of the 60% male audience vs. 40% female audience, women graded the film slightly lower at "B+". Of that overall audience, a massive 76% was over the age of 25.
We hesitated to draw comparisons to American Sniper or Lone Survivor in our weekend preview on Thursday, mostly due to the limited-to-wide release for both of those films, not to mention the Oscar love for Sniper. Yet, as older audiences played a large role in the wide opening weekend for both of those films, Dunkirk saw older moviegoers make up even more of its audience.
Of American Sniper's overall audience, 63% were over the age of 25, while 50% of Lone Survivor's audience was over the age of 30. Considering Dunkirk is releasing in the middle of summer rather than the middle of Oscar season, as those two films did, it will be interesting to see how it plays out next weekend. To that point, Survivor dropped 42% in its second weekend of wide release while Sniper only dipped 28%.
Another factor to pay attention to is the impressive runs director Christopher Nolan tends to get out of his films. Going back to the release of Insomnia in 2002, Nolan's films have delivered, on average, a 3.69x multiplier, best among them the 4.66x multiplier for Inception. Playing the averages that would suggest a $185+ million domestic run for Dunkirk. One last comparison that may also be significant, considering its audience also skewed older (69% over the age of 25), is 2013's The Great Gatsby, which opened just over $50 million and finished its domestic run with $144.8 million.
Internationally, Dunkirk brought in an estimated $55.4 million from 46 markets including #1 openings in the UK ($12.4m), France ($4.9m), Russia ($2.7m), Spain ($1.9m), Korea ($10.3m) and Australia ($4.7m). As was the case domestically, IMAX played a big role overseas, delivering ~13% of the weekend total with an estimated $7 million from 231 screens. Looking ahead, the film opens in Germany, Brazil and Mexico next weekend, followed by Italy (Aug 31), China (Sep 1) and Japan (Sept 9).
In second is Universal's release of Girls Trip with an impressive $30.37 million debut in 2,591 theaters. Carrying a budget of just $19 million, this marks another successful release for producer Will Packer, an opening just $3.3 million shy of his 2012 success Think Like a Man, which spawned a sequel just two years later.
The female-led R-rated comedy stars Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah and received a rare "A+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, suggesting a long run throughout the rest of the summer is in the offing. The opening is ~$7 million more than last year's Bad Moms, which went on to gross over $113 million domestically after a $23.8 million opening weekend.
Girls Trip played to an audience that was 79% female vs. 21% male, of which 50% of the overall audience was under the age of 30. Additionally, 59% of the audience was African American, 19% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic and 3% Asian.
Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming dropped 50% in its third weekend, finishing in third position with an estimated $22 million, bringing its domestic cume to $251.7 million. Spider-Man added another $33.2 million internationally bringing its overseas cume to $320 million, pushing its global tally over $570 million.
Fox's War for the Planet of the Apes finished in fourth position, and like the massive 62% drops for both Spider-Man and Transformers: The Last Night in their second weekends, War of the Apes is the latest franchise feature to experience a steep decline in its sophomore session. Apes finished with an estimated $20.4 million, a nearly 64% drop from its opening weekend. The film's domestic cume now stands at $97.7 million.
Rounding out the top five is STX's release of EuropaCorp's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which delivered an estimated $17 million from 3,553 locations. A range of budgets have been reported for the film with STX reporting a net $150 million budget after subsidies, trade reports have noted a $180 million budget and the CNC reports a 197.47€ budget ($209m USD), the most expensive French production ever. Of course, the film is expected to do very well in France when it opens next week, and while 90% of the budget was reportedly covered with foreign pre-sales, equity financing and tax subsidies, this remains a weak start for the film domestically.
Opening weekend audiences were 63% male vs. 37% female, of which 40% were under the age of 24. Overall, opening day audiences scored the film with a soft, "B-" CinemaScore, which isn't likely to translate into a long domestic run.
Universal's Despicable Me 3 finished in sixth position with an estimated $12.7 million. The animated feature topped $200 million domestically on Thursday and, following this weekend's performance, its cume now stands at $213.3 million. Internationally, the film added an estimated $47.5 million this weekend from 63 markets, which brings its international cume to $514.1 million for a global tally of $727.4 million.
Also in the top ten for the eighth weekend in a row, WB's Wonder Woman brought in an estimated $4.6 million bringing the domestic cume to $389 million making it the largest domestic release of summer 2017, topping Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's current $387 million. Internationally, Wonder Woman added another $1.8 million this weekend for a $390.4 million overseas gross and a global tally just shy of $780 million.
Wonder Woman is already the highest grossing domestic release of the four films in the DC Extended Universe and it currently places second in terms of worldwide gross behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which finished with $873.3 million worldwide. Wonder Woman has still yet to debut in Japan where it opens on August 25.
In limited release this weekend, Magnolia's release of Landline from Amazon Studios debuted in four theaters with an estimated $52,336 ($13,084 PTA); Music Box debuted The Midwife at three locations where it grossed an estimated $20,250 ($6,750 PTA); and CFI released The Fencer in two theaters where it grossed an estimated $5,400 ($2,700 PTA).
Next weekend sees the release of Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron in ~3,200 theaters and Sony will release the animated feature The Emoji Movie into over 3,700 locations. Additionally, Paramount Vantage will begin the platform release of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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