Weekend Wrap-Up

Dunkirk Narrowly Sinks Emoji Movie: A Nation Rejoices

By John Hamann

July 30, 2017

Identify the boy band member.

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Dunkirk rode the wave of good word-of-mouth and Christopher Nolan love, as the film has received a ton of free advertising through news pieces and general interest. It is owning IMAX, which is showing a special 70MM version of Dunkirk at 31 theaters across the US and charging an average of $15 per ticket. In some markets, the price per ticket is even higher than $25. The Friday-to-Friday drop was high at 60%, but compares the second Friday to an opening day that contained $5.1 million in previews. Nonetheless, Dunkirk was able to storm back over the rest of the weekend.

Dunkirk is working across demographics and crossed the $100 million mark this weekend. It now has a domestic total of $102.8 million after 10 days. Overseas, Dunkirk is seeing a slower rollout, but has already earned $131.3 million internationally, putting it in an easy position to make up that $100 million production budget and significant advertising costs. Next weekend will be key for Dunkirk, as it faces off against the last of the summer blockbusters in The Dark Tower, but advertising for the Stephen King adaption has been sketchy and desperate of late (Good v Evil – who uses that for a theme for anything these days?) so I am expecting a critical drubbing for that one and an open field for Dunkirk in weekend three.


Finishing third is Girls Trip, as the Queen Latifah comedy upends the expected third place slot reserved for Atomic Blonde. Word-of-mouth is carrying Girls Trip, as it saw a Friday-to-Friday drop of only 47% (remember those previews), as it finished about $1 million behind the Charlize Theron actioner on Friday, before coming back over the rest of the weekend. Girls Trip finished the weekend with a score of $20.1 million, dropping only 36% in the process. Trip cost only $19 million to make, an amount it earned in a day and a half, so with a gross to date of $65.5 million, Universal is once again cashing in this summer. Universal is proving that films don’t have to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to be a big hit (although that worked for Fate of the Furious). They only need to be good films released at the right time (see: Split, Get Out, and Fifty Shades Darker). Where Girls Trip goes from here is unknown, but it should crack the $100 million mark domestically (in about two weeks or so).

Atomic Blonde opens in fourth, and given the hoopla on this one leading up to release, I have to wonder if there isn’t a little studio disappointment with this result. Atomic Blonde came up with a $7.1 million opening Friday, including $1.5 million from previews. Given that Friday was really $5.6 million, it makes sense that the weekend kicked out at $18.6 million. As stated above, that’s more than John Wick debuted to ($14.4 million), so director David Leitch is moving up. It does join the top five biggest Focus Features releases ever, behind only Insidious Chapter 2 ($22.7 million), London Has Fallen ($21.6 million) and Burn After Reading ($19.6 million), but getting ahead of The Boxtrolls ($17.3 million) and Coraline ($16.9 million). Atomic Blonde was made for $30 million, $10 million more than John Wick, but I bet this one plays better overseas.

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