‘Dunkirk’ conquers weekend with $50.5 million

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“Dunkirk” and “Girls Trip” are opening above expectations at the domestic box office, while “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” looks like a huge flop.

But let’s start with the good. Christopher Nolan’s World War II film from Warner Bros. is flying past earlier projections to a $50.5 million opening weekend from 3,720 locations. $11.7 million of that total came from Imax screens alone — that’s 23% of the total market share from 402 locations. That $50.5 million number is a good one considering it is expected to have a large multiple, and continue to play well through August. The movie’s production budget was reportedly just under $100 million, although earlier reports speculated that it was much higher.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with this incredible result on this brilliant film,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. “In a summer that has had a lot of disappointments, this movie way over-achieved.”

Critics have fallen in love with Nolan’s depiction of the real-life Battle of Dunkirk. Their reviews have earned the movie a 92%, and chatter has already started about its award season potential. But audiences have responded as well, perhaps surprisingly, to what many have described as an atypical war movie. It holds an impressive A- CinemaScore.

“Dunkirk” includes a cast with awards season pedigree in Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. But the ensemble is mostly made up of a band of newcomers including Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, and, as you probably know by now, Harry Styles.

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