July 2017 Box Office Recap

By Steven Slater

August 3, 2017

Slacker millennial.

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3) War for Planet of the Apes

Opening Weekend: $56.2 million
Monthly Total: $120.1 million

You have to hand it to Fox. They aimed to make this franchise reboot have quality films, and not simply sell their souls for a bit of money. War for POTA is the third highest grossing film for July, although it will likely be eclipsed by the other dark, dramatic film released this month. War, as ever, is earning less than its predecessor, and will even fall below the domestic gross of the first film, even though reviews were remarkably good. Hopefully the correct lessons are learned here, where although the franchise did not improve its box office standing with each installment, it never diminished the returns in a large capacity (see: Smurfs, Divergent, Pirates, etc…) Between this and Kong, there is obviously a ceiling to monkey movies. Even though this is the last film of this trilogy, I am sure Andy Serkis will be flopping about with little dots on his face soon enough. It feels like it’s time for a Gollum stand alone film, right? Or maybe he could be Yoda. Ooh…

4) Dunkirk

Opening Weekend: $ 50.5 million
Monthly Total: $ 104.6 million

I find it fascinating that although star power appears to have waned considerably over the years, there are other “stars” wielding influence. Among directors, arguably no one stands taller than Christopher Nolan. He has forged a permanent link between his films and the movie going audience, such that there is always a large group awaiting his projects. With Dunkirk, he continues an incredible streak of crafting original stories, writing them himself, having large budgets, and earning hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. Dunkirk is self-described as his most experimental film yet, but the box office is right in line with Interstellar, if a bit behind Inception (he loves the letters I and D). Nolan plays to the older audience, seeking a bit more out of their films, and he is rewarded with legs that should carry Dunkirk through the rest of summer, especially in IMAX venues. With standard Nolan legs, this film should play very similar to Interstellar, although foreign audiences outside Britain may not turn out as high. Either way, it’s another big notch on his belt.


5) Baby Driver

Monthly Total: $ 77.5 million

Another well-loved director finds his mark, as the fifth biggest earner for July is from a director who certainly has a following, but never a true box office hit. That all ended with Baby Driver, a film that set out to be a very targeted genre film, and lots of people wanted that movie. Baby Driver might just squeeze past $100 million when all is said and done, which is over triple what any of Edgar Wright’s previous efforts earned stateside (or double worldwide totals for that matter). Wright is one of a cadre of filmmakers who have decided that no matter where the winds of progress blow, they are going to keep making exactly the type of movie they want. Perhaps it is too bad he never had the chance to helm Ant-Man, but if that steered him in this direction then all the better for audiences.

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