Warner Bros. is having one heck of a summer.
Its latest movie from the DC Comics Extended Universe franchise, “Wonder Woman,” has surpassed Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” for the top-grossing title of the summer, and now Christopher Nolan’s latest ambitious film for the studio, “Dunkirk,” has won this weekend’s box office — and exceeded all expectations in the process.
Taking on an estimated $50.5 million domestically, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the intimate war epic proves that dramatic titles catered for the 30-year-old and older crowd can earn coin within the blockbuster-filled summer slate.
Playing on over 3,700 screens, and fueled by the constant recommendation through social media to see the movie on IMAX (which assisted in $11.7 million of the movie’s opening weekend), “Dunkirk” ($150 million budget) opened with a strong $19.7 million on opening day. And the movie continued to find audiences as the weekend continued.
This opening weekend surpassed Nolan’s previous movie, the ambitious $165 million-budgeted sci-fi drama “Interstellar,” which opened at $47.5 million.
Now we’ll watch if Warner Bros. will make a push for the movie to find award season glory later this year, especially a best director campaign for Nolan, who has never received a nomination.
Coming in second place was the Universal comedy “Girls Trip,” starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall. Proving the female comedy is still alive and well, the raunchy, R-rated romp took in $30.4 million.
Luc Besson’s passion project, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” completely bombed with only a $17 million opening. STX Entertainment thought it had a title that summer movie audiences would flock to as it had “The Fifth Element” director making a movie based on the comic he grew up on back in France, but that didn’t happen.
Though “Valerian” is visually stunning, its over-two-hour running time and lack of chemistry between its leads, Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, led to a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a very poor turnout at the over 3,500 screens for the $200 million sci-fi spectacle.