July 23, 2017

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 7.23.2017


OPENINGS:  The Saturday hold for DUNKIRK (Warners) wasn’t as strong as those for other Christopher Nolan non-sequels, down 11% where Inception stayed steady, and Interstellar actually rose 8%, pushing the weekend studio estimate to $50.5M.  Nevertheless, that’s a terrific start for a film that was far from a sure thing as a summer blockbuster.  With its older-skewing audience and no other comparable spectacles opening for the rest of the summer, Dunkirk should have a long run, with $150M+ in the US and plenty of potential upside.  Overseas, Nolan’s epic opened in 46 territories (not yet including major markets like Germany, Brazil, Italy, Japan or China) with a $55.4M start.  Nolan doesn’t work cheap, and Dunkirk has $300M+ in costs to recoup, but it’s on the road to profit.

GIRLS TRIP (Perfect World/Universal) should be extremely profitable, with a $30.4M opening on costs that may not exceed $50M.  (That doesn’t include any allowance for international marketing, since it’s not clear how much of an overseas run it will have.)  Trip should reach $75M in the US, and $100M isn’t impossible.  That puts it in the range of Kevin Hart hits like Think Like A Man ($91.5M), its sequel ($65.2M), and The Wedding Ringer ($64.5M).

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (Europa/STX) had no footing at all in the US with a $17M opening, and it probably won’t reach $50M here.  Its only hope of recouping its $300M in costs lies overseas, where it’s taking a gradual approach, spreading worldwide over the next several weeks.  However, its $6.5M start in 16 territories is far from promising.  As we noted yesterday, the international distributors may end up taking the lion’s share of the losses.

HOLDOVERS:  SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Marvel/Columbia/Sony) dropped 50% in its 3rd weekend to $22M, and it appears that a $300M US total will be a stretch.  Overseas, it’s at $320M after a $33.2M weekend in 64 territories (not including China, Japan or Spain).  At this point, it’s not clear whether Homecoming will reach the worldwide $757.9M of Amazing Spider-Man, which was below the Sam Raimi trilogy, the answer being largely dependent on its success in China.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (TSG/20th) isn’t delivering the word of mouth that its reviews seemed to foretell.  It dropped 64% in its 2d weekend to $20.4M, and may not get past $140M in the US, which would be down 30% from 2014’s Dawn.  Overseas, it’s at $77.1M after a $17.2M weekend, and it, too, is waiting for China to end its summer blackout of Hollywood openings.

DESPICABLE ME 3 (Illumination/Universal) will face direct competition next weekend from The Emoji Movie, but slid only 34% this weekend to $12.7M, still on its way to $240M in the US.  The bulk of its money, however, is coming from overseas, where it’s at $514.4M after a $47.5M weekend, with a few markets (including Italy) still to open.  It should end up at $850-900M worldwide, which would be below the $1.16B for  Minions and the $970.8M for Despicable 2, although still wildly profitable.

BABY DRIVER (MRC/TriStar/Sony) dipped only 31% on its 4th weekend to $6M, and seems to have enough gas in its tank to reach $100M in the US, a tremendous result for a relatively low-cost project.  Overseas, it’s opened in less than half the world thus far, and is at $34.4M after a $8.3M weekend.

THE BIG SICK (Amazon/Lionsgate) isn’t quite at the same level of sleeper, although it’s doing fairly well.  It dropped just 34% to $5M in its 2d week of wide release, and should reach $35M in the US.

WONDER WOMAN (RatPac/Huahua/Tencent/DC/Warners) is now the #1 movie of the summer in the US, down 32% for the weekend to $4.6M for a total of $389M, putting it ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2‘s $387.3M.  Guardians, though, still has bragging rights worldwide, where its $472.7M international total has it at $860M, while Wonder Woman is at $779.4M thanks to $390.4M overseas (including $1.8M this weekend), with Japan still to open.

WISH UPON (Broad Green) fell 55% from its weak opening to $2.5M, and might get to $15M.

Despite the inflation-adjusted numbers being pushed by its studio, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Disney) is far less successful than any of the other films in its franchise since the 2003 original.  In the US, it’s basically done with $170.6M, down 30% from 2011’s On Stranger Tides.  Far more serious, however, is the international total of $596.6M (after a $5.1M weekend), down more than 25% from Stranger Tides.  With a worldwide total that will probably stop around $775M, Dead Men will be profitable, but another franchise entry that fell by the same amount would be a much tougher proposition.

LIMITED RELEASE:  LANDLINE (Amazon/Magnolia) had a quiet start with a $13K average at 4 NY/LA theatres.  THE MIDWIFE (Music Box) was even more muted, averaging $7K at 3.  MAUDIE (Sony Classics) expanded to 233 theatres with a weak $1700 average.  A GHOST STORY (A24) isn’t proving to have mainstream appeal, with a $3300 average at 43.  LADY MACBETH (Roadside) similarly averaged $3100 at 40.

NEXT WEEKEND:  Summer moves into a lower gear with the arrivals of ATOMIC BLONDE (Focus/Universal) and THE EMOJI MOVIE (Columbia/Sony).  In addition, DETROIT (Annapurna) begins a one-week limited release before going wide, and AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER (Paramount Vantage) will hope to cause some environmental ruckus.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."