It looks like the tagline for Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk should actually be "The Big War Movie That Could." While early prognostications suggested that the Inception director's latest movie would under-perform at the box office, it is now only the fifth title this season to claim the top of the box office for two weeks in a row. Check out the full chart below!
Thanks to the fact that it only dropped an impressive 44% from its opening weekend numbers, Dunkirk was able to stay a top the box office rankings this week - despite having a couple of big new releases as competition. With its $28.1 million take over the last three days, it is officially now the sixth Christopher Nolan movie to make more than $100 million at the domestic box office. The only titles that didn't manage to pass that threshold are Insomnia ($67 million), The Prestige ($53 million), Memento ($25 million) and Following ($48,482).
As I pointed out last week, Dunkirk was very much underestimated going into its theatrical release, and was only supposed to make $40 million in its first three days - which means it would have only made $17.6 million in its second weekend even with the same minimal drop. Not to underestimate the power of American teenage girls who want to see Harry Styles on the big screen, but this box office performance suggests that people know to show up at their local theater (or preferably IMAX) whenever a new Christopher Nolan movie is playing.
Dunkirk's biggest competition this weekend came in the form of Sony Pictures Animation's The Emoji Movie - and while it looked like the race would be neck-and-neck by the end of Friday, there wound up being a $2.5 million gap between them when the dust settled. Family movies usually have an edge at the box office thanks to the fact that they are typically being attended by both children and their guardians, but The Emoji Movie had some forces working against it. Specifically, it's going down as one of the worst-reviewed movies of 2017, currently sporting an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critical backlash rarely factors in when it comes to kids seeing films, but it's hard not to suggest a correlation between the negative write-ups and the unfortunate box office numbers.
While The Emoji Movie was going after younger audiences, director David Leitch's Atomic Blonde was set up to appeal to blockbuster-hungry adults this weekend. And the results are... mediocre. Sporting a seriously talented cast - led by Charlize Theron - and made for just $30 million, the movie only managed to pull in $18.6 million this weekend, which was only good enough for fourth place. A big part of this is not only Dunkirk over-performing, but Girls Trip doing the same. The Malcolm D. Lee-directed comedy, which has an "A+" rating on CinemaScore, only dropped an amazing 36% in its second weekend, allowing it to only drop one space in the rankings.
Will the Top Five from this week's box office manage to have legs as we enter August and get ready to close out the summer? It's hard to say right now, particularly because the wide releases set to come out on Friday include Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit, Nikolaj Arcel's The Dark Tower, an Luis Prieto's Kidnap. Stay tuned next week to see how it all shakes out!