Weekend Wrap-Up

Dunkirk Leads Three New Releases to a Combined $100 Million

By John Hamann

July 23, 2017

Queens of the Mardi Gras!

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is fourth, and if there is a disappointment this weekend, this is it. Luc Besson's much hyped and hoped for independent science fiction release did not have a breakout weekend and was not the vision that many hoped for. Besson's $200 million plus film had a North American opening of $17 million – a number whose expectations only went lower as opening weekend approached. Had the film itself been better (it is currently 54% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes), I think it would have opened to more. It also might have performed better if it had a bigger star attached to it, like Bruce Willis in Fifth Element.

I have never quite understood Dane DeHaan as a leading man – he's more Luke Skywalker than Han Solo. Cara Delevingne I get - she has presence; he does not. North American audiences were cool on it (B- Cinemascore), so It will be interesting to see how Valerian does overseas. Still, my feeling is that Luc Besson cashed out on it early, selling the distribution rights like a Lionsgate release and reducing the impact if it nosedived. STX ends up wearing it in North America, given it likely had to cough up the marketing budget stateside. I am sure that there will be much more on the fate and finances of Valerian over the weeks to come.

Despicable Me 3 is sixth and continues to be another Universal cash cow, as the studio is having a banner year, releasing Fate of the Furious, Get Out, Split, and Fifty Shades Darker this year. In its fourth weekend, Despicable Me 3 earned another $12.7 million and dropped a decent 34%. It has picked up $213.33 million domestically, and has passed the half-billion mark overseas, against that tight budget of $80 million.

Baby Driver and The Big Sick continue to thrive this weekend, earning $6 million and $5 million respectively. Baby Driver brings its total up to $84.2 million, and The Big Sick moves up to $24.5 million.


Wonder Woman continues its big ride despite being out for eight weekends of release. The Warner Bros./DC film of the summer picked up another $4.6 million and declined a small 32%. Wonder Woman has now hit $389 million on the North American side and continues with equal amounts overseas.

Wish Upon is tenth. The discarded horror flick earned only $2.5 million and fell 55%. The $12 million Broad Green release has now earned $10.5 million.

Overall, the top 12 films earned a fairly healthy $174.2 million, but the box office still struggles to gain any hold on last year, as the 2016 top 12 pulled in $183.6 million. Next weekend should be fun, as Charlize Theron goes all John Wick in Atomic Blonde, and Sony releases The Emoji Movie, which is just another sign I am getting old.

Top Ten for Weekend of July 21-23, 2017
Estimated Gross (millions)
Weekly Change
Running Total (millions)
1 Dunkirk Warner Bros. 50.5 New 50.5
2 Girls Trip Universal 30.4 New 30.4
3 Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony 22.0 -50% 251.7
4 War for the Planet of the Apes 20th Century Fox 20.4 -64% 97.8
5 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets STX 17.0 New 17.0
6 Despicable Me 3 Universal 12.7 -34% 213.3
7 Baby Driver TriStar 6.0 -31% 84.2
8 The Big Sick Focus 5.0 -34% 24.5
9 Wonder Woman Warner Bros. 4.6 -32% 389.0
10 Wish Upon Broad Green 2.5 -55% 10.5
11 Cars 3 Walt Disney Co. 1.9 -38% 144.0
12 Transformers: The Last Knight Paramount 1.1 -60% 127.6

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