Box office hits and misses: ‘Dunkirk’ flies, ‘Valerian’ flops, and ‘Wonder Woman’ reigns

Dunkirk movie review
Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan has a knack for putting audiences in theater seats, and that’s exactly what happened this weekend with his new World War II drama Dunkirk, which surged to the top of the box office on its opening weekend.

The Dark Knight director’s dramatic account of The Battle of Dunkirk had one of the biggest premieres of any World War II film in recent years, with an estimated $50.5 million in U.S. theaters and another $55 million internationally. The movie benefitted from a big push in IMAX and retrofitted theaters capable of projecting the film in large-format 70mm screenings, and it’s widely believed that Dunkirk and 2015’s The Hateful Eight could herald the revival of the larger 70mm film format.

Of course, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Dunkirk also received a positive, “A-” grade from audiences on CinemaScore, and a 92-percent approval rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes. While it has some distance to go to make back its $150 million production costs, it’s a nice start for the film that also confirms Nolan’s continuing power to attract an audience.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Dunkirk $50.5M $50.5M $105.9M
2. Girls Trip $30.3M $30.3M $30.3M
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming $22M $251.7M $571.7M
4. War for the Planet of the Apes $20.4M $97.7M $174.8M
5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets $17M $17M $17M
6. Despicable Me 3 $12.7M $213.3M $727.4M
7. Baby Driver $6M $84.2M $118.6M
8. The Big Sick $5M $24.5M $24.6M
9. Wonder Woman $4.6M $389M $779.4M
10. Wish Upon $2.4M $10.5M $10.5M

Taking second place over the weekend was “R”-rated comedy Girls Trip, which managed to both exceed box-office pundits’ estimates and earn an impressively high grade from audiences. The film’s $30.3 million premiere is the biggest debut of any live-action comedy this year, and the biggest opening for an “R”-rated comedy over the last two years. On top of all that, the film — which follows a group of friends who head to New Orleans for a weekend of raunchy hijinks — received an “A+” grade from CinemaScore, giving it one of the best audience grades of the year.

That’s not too shabby for a movie that was made for less than $20 million.

On a less positive note, Luc Besson’s sci-fi space opera Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest flops with an opening weekend that only managed to bring in $17 million — good for just fifth place. The outlook wouldn’t be so grim if the film had a manageable price tag, but the passion project for the celebrated director of The Fifth Element cost nearly $210 million to make and will likely need to cross $300 million worldwide to cover its production and marketing costs.

The previous two weekends’ winners each added a modest amount to their box-office grosses so far, with Spider-Man: Homecoming increasing its worldwide total to a cool $571.7 million and War for the Planet of the Apes struggling, but still bringing its worldwide total to $174.8 million after two weeks.

Also noteworthy was the $4.6 million earned by Wonder Woman in its eighth weekend in theaters, which puts the Warner Bros. Pictures superhero movie past Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 domestically to become the highest-grossing movie of the summer in U.S. theaters. Wonder Woman currently ranks second on the year’s domestic box-office rankings behind Beauty and the Beast, which earned $504 million (compared to the $389 million raked in by Wonder Woman so far).

This upcoming weekend is a mixed bag of movies, with Charlize Theron’s brutal action film Atomic Blonde hitting theaters with a lot of buzz behind it, and the animated feature The Emoji Movie likely to draw from a very different audience pool. Indie film Brigsy Bear also arrives in theaters with some positive buzz.

Movies & TV

First ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ trailer offers a peek at life after ‘Infinity War’

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have released the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, set in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Movies & TV

Curious about 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'? Here's everything we know so far

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Business

‘Aquaman’ becomes first DC cinematic universe movie to cross $1 billion

Aquaman fell to second place at the weekend box office, but its worldwide earnings crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the first film in Warner Bros. Pictures' DC Extended Universe to do so.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Velvet Buzzsaw,’ ‘IO,’ Fyre Festival, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's trailers for a Fyre Festival documentary, as well as Velvet Buzzsaw and Iron Sky: The Coming Race.
Deals

Stream UFC Fight Night 143 for free with this ESPN+ trial offer

If you're looking for a way to watch UFC Fight Night 143 and other upcoming sporting events on mobile, then ESPN's premium mobile service has you covered, and you can even take advantage of a seven-day trial to stream it totally free.
Movies & TV

How much does Netflix cost? Here’s a pricing breakdown of its plans

Wondering how much a Netflix subscription costs? You're not the only one. That's why we put together a quick-hit guide covering all the Netflix plans, whether you want to opt for 4K streaming or a disc-based option.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.
Gaming

Break out the Wii: ‘Just Dance’ movie reportedly in the works

Sony's Screen Gems has reportedly acquired the film rights to the Just Dance video game series from Ubisoft, which previously helped bring the game Assassin's Creed to the big screen in 2016.
Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.
Movies & TV

You can get a screaming deal on LG OLED TVs just in time for the Super Bowl

LG is offering steep discounts on its critically acclaimed OLED TV models just in time for the Super Bowl, letting discerning viewers watch their favorite athletes with higher picture quality than ever.
Movies & TV

First footage from 'John Wick: Chapter 3' has Keanu Reeves running for his life

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.