'Dunkirk,' 'Girls Trip' open strong as 'Valerian' fumbles


It was a good weekend for original storytelling, as two franchise-free movies brought in audience members in droves. The highest earner was Christopher Nolan’s WWII drama Dunkirk, which opened to a strong $50.5 million. The IMAX surcharges added up here; just under 25% of Dunkirk’s haul came from IMAX screens, which numbered only 402 against a total theatre count of 3,720.

In second place we have Malcolm D. Lee’s R-rated ensemble comedy Girls Trip, which opened to $30.3 million on 2,591 screens against an estimated $19 million budget. Both Girls Trip and Dunkirk received overwhelmingly positive reviews as well as audience acclaim, with CinemaScores of A- and A+, respectively; as such, you can expect both films to hold strong as the summer movie season begins to wind to a close.

“Hold strong” is exactly what War for the Planet of the Apes didn’t do; the well-reviewed third film in Matt Reeves’ Apes trilogy dropped approximately 64% from its $56.2 million opening last weekend. That puts War in spot number four, behind fellow franchise tentpole Spider-Man: Homecoming (weekend gross $22 million, total gross $251.7 million). Straggling behind those two holdovers was the weekend’s final new wide release, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Luc Besson’s latest bit of sci-fi insanity failed to capture audiences’ attention, earning an unimpressive $17 million on 3,553 screens.

Further down in the top ten, Wonder Woman brought in $4.6 million in its eighth weekend. That pushes its domestic gross ($389 million) past that of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($387.2 million), making Wonder Woman the highest-grossing superhero movie of the year so far. There are two forthcoming superhero movies that could still snatch its crown: Thor: Ragnarok, out November 3, and Justice League, out November 17.

The highest earner among limited releases was Landline ($52,336 on four screens), director Gillian Robespierre’s follow-up to her 2014 indie comedy hit Obvious Child. Meanwhile, French drama The Midwife earned $20,250 on three screens, while Finnish period piece The Fencer brought in $5,400 on two.