August 2017 Box Office Recap

By Steven Slater

September 7, 2017

Strong style!

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2) Dunkirk

Monthly Total: $70 million

One of the bright spots of the summer, and of August, is Christopher Nolan’s historic masterpiece Dunkirk, coasting on a familiar trajectory for the auteur blockbuster director. After opening well, the holds have been great for this Nolan film, as his audiences tend to be older and more film savvy. This one has earned about $180 million domestic so far, and will creep very close to $200 million, a great total for a budget of $100 million. Internationally is where this might fall behind his recent efforts like Interstellar, as it has accrued $280 million so far, whereas his space epic had almost twice as much. However, Interstellar had a much bigger budget, so Dunkirk is another big success and there seems to be no stopping Nolan and his style of both storytelling and filmmaking. The only question for his next movie is: will Michael Caine be in it?

3) The Emoji Movie

Monthly Total: $50.5 million

August was so bad, the number two and three spots for the month are occupied by holdovers, and #3 is the equivalent of :). Save your twenty bucks, and plop the kids in front of YouTube searching for funny cat videos -
unless you were hoping this was somehow going to be genius, like the altered state that was Sausage Party last year. Let’s be honest. The Emoji Movie did about as well as any Sony executive could have hoped, as its domestic total is over $80 million, and about the same overseas, with a slim $50 million budget. If anything, this shows how desperate families were for entertainment this month (see #10) and that a high profile studio really needs to block off late summer for a big kids movie.


4) The Dark Tower

Opening Weekend: $19.2 million
Monthly Total: $45.8 million

There’s a month in 2017 with a Stephen King adaptation. It will be a great hit. It will have imagery that haunts you. This is not that month. The misfire that is the 20-year gestating project adapting King’s magnum opus could barely fizzle out of the gate. You would think enough people had read this guy's books and/or love Idris Elba to push this one just a little further. But the stink must have been on this one, as it opened to mediocre numbers and will quickly be forgotten. Ron Howard (saving all manner of projects these days) is producing the TV series that also stars Elba, so perhaps by then everyone will just assume this was a big episode one and jump on board when the quality arrives. Although seriously, if they were making a show, and it already stars that guy, and the movie sucks, and…why did anyone even bother? Either way, King doesn’t have to wait long for his next check, as the remake of IT appears right about now and has a stellar 89% fresh rating!

5) The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Opening Weekend: $21.4 million
Monthly Total: $44.7 million

I think we all love Samuel L. Jackson, and I always had a soft spot for Ryan Reynolds, even before Deadpool. So it seems quite natural that putting these two together results in a decent film with decent box office. Leave it to a month like this, though, that it can also be remembered for being #1 at the box office for three weekends in a row, and probably 21 days in a row. With a slim $30 million dollar budget, this continues an August trend in that there were no outright bombs, mostly because the budgets were all so low. In fact, most movies this August will probably turn a profit. The buddy genre is alive and well, and it is always good to see well-loved actors team up.

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