We’ve reached the last week of July! Isn’t it crazy how at certain points it feels like the year can just fly buy? Welcome back to The Box Office Report, which is where I try to make some sense of the previous weekend in film, specifically with the box office! So what happened this weekend? Join after the break to find out!
To no one’s surprise the number one film past weekend was Dunkirk. This period piece on the actual Battle of Dunkirk during World War II is directed by Christopher Nolan and stars some notable actors: Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy. The film so far has received outstanding reviews (92% on Rotten Tomatoes, A- on CinemaScore, and a 94 on Metacritic) as it seems that Nolan has directed another classic. Is it possible for the man at this point to direct a bad film? Dunkirk’s opening places it as the fourth highest grossing of all time for a Nolan directed film (The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, and Inception are numbers 1 through 3) and WB may very well have quite a success on hand. The film released in, at least in my opinion, the best time for a film to release. You’ll still have the draw of the “out of school” crowd, even though summer vacation for most Americans is winding down, and you will have the majority of the month of August to have the film out with little to no direct competition. But there is something I’m curious about with this film. It has the same exact budget as War for the Planet of the Apes and took in less than Apes did on its opening weekend. Does this mean the film won’t be a success? I can’t say for sure. My level for success is if a film at least matches its production budget domestically. If Dunkirk can reach $150M domestically I see no reason as to why the foreign totals won’t be able to cover the marketing costs for the film. I’m also probably over simplifying what is considered a success or not but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Dunkirk should be close, if not over, the halfway mark to $150M domestically by Thursday so we should know how well the film will perform moving forward at that point.
I know absolutely nothing about Girls Trip and I doubt I’ll dig too much into this film as I don’t exactly fit the demographic this film was aiming for. Universal hit it out of the park with a $31M opening vs a budget of only $19M. Does anyone in the crowd have an idea as to why this film has succeeded when Rough Night bombed? (Rough Night had a $20M budget and I think the trailers misled a lot of people. It only made $21.8M domestically.) My guess is that this film is a straight up comedy without the “we killed a guy” sub-plot in Rough Night. At this point anything the film makes is just the cherry on top. I never imagined this film debuting at number two so perhaps Universal has found a market ripe for the taking in the future? The reviews on the film have been extremely positive for a comedy (88% on Rotten Tomatoes, A+ on CinemaScore, and a 72 on Metacritic) so it’ll be interesting to continue tracking Girls Trip across the next few weeks.
Ouch. It’s painful to see a film that had as much potential as Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to make so little opening weekend. I think this had less to do with the content of the film or reviews (51% on Rotten Tomatoes, 51 on Metacritic, and a dreadful B- from CinemaScore) and more with unfamiliarity of the source material and the lead actors being relatively unknown. I’ve seen this film be compared to films like Avatar as the film is visually impressive and best seen in 3D. At this point, though, it’s more of a wait and see as I’m hoping this film develops a cult following and does really well internationally and in home market sales. Luc Beeson’s previous film, Lucy, was actually a commercial success bringing in $126.6M domestically and $463M worldwide against a budget of only $40M. He’s also the director for the cult classic The Fifth Element so it’s a bit sad to see a movie of his bomb like this. With a bloated budget of over $177M+ I don’t see how this film ends up being anything but an unfortunate bust.
Rest of the Top Ten Quick Hits:
Spider-Man: Homecoming fell another 50% and it looks more and more likely that the film will end right around $300M domestically. Considering how many Spidey films we’ve had I’d consider this a win for Marvel. War for the Planet of the Apes is now making less that Spidey and that’s a bit unnerving. The film still hasn’t made $100M domestically yet, though it is close. I stand by my predictions last week that the film will make around what its production budget is, $150M, or potentially less. Despicable Me 3 has made nearly $200M more worldwide than Despicable Me 1 ($732.5M vs $543.1M). Baby Driver has easily crossed over $100M worldwide ($118.9M) and could finish its domestic run right under $100M. This is great success for a great film. Wonder Woman has now passed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the highest grossing summer blockbuster domestically of 2017.
2017 Domestic Totals:
Wonder Woman has taken the place as the second highest grossing move in 2017. The film will come very close to $400M but I think it’ll fall just short of the mark without a major push by WB. At this point will anything top Beauty and the Beast? Probably not, unless Star Wars: The Last Jedi can hit $500M within 2 weeks, which is possible but unlikely. Spider-Man: Homecoming made a leap up to fourth which is likely where it will stay for a few months. There are currently no other movies threatening to enter the top ten.
Notable Film Closings:
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Opened: May 12th, Closed: July 20th
$39M domestically, $140.7M worldwide vs $175M budget
Welp. What can you really do? Guy Ritchie brought a stylish, more modern, telling of the classic King Arthur tale and the audience rejected it out-right. This is really a movie that I felt should have performed better than it did but unfortunately domestic audiences just don’t care for slick, fun action led by Charlie Hunnam which is tragic. I really hope this film has a strong home video market because it’s worth seeing. It’s not a perfect movie but it was a great alternative to films like The Fate of the Furious.
2017 Worldwide Totals:
Spider-Man: Homecoming finally made its way into the top ten kicking out The Boss Baby. The film should gross over $600M, perhaps sitting around $650M once its run is up. It’s probably not what Marvel was hoping for but with the film’s budget and being a cog in the MCU wheel I think it’ll be just fine. Could Wonder Woman crack $800M? It’s the question I keep asking myself each weekend as I’m still a bit unsure if it could happen. I’m about a 60/40 split that it breaks over the mark with a lot of help coming from Japan. I think the film will make at least $13M from the island nation. I base my claim on that it’s around what Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($16.5M) and Suicide Squad ($15.6M) made. Could it be higher? Of course! But this means that the domestic, and rest of the foreign, total would have to pick up the rest of the pace. War for the Planet of the Apes, the only film currently out of the top ten that will have a chance at climbing the list, currently sits in twenty-eighth place.
That does it for this weeks’ report! Next week we have Atomic Blonde and The Emoji Movie releasing so it’ll be interesting to see how those two films perform! Next weekend will also be the last weekend in July and unofficially the last true weekend of summer as families gear up for going back to school in August. August has a chance for some hits this year, so it’s not the barren wasteland it normally is. Thanks for reading and thanks for the support!