'Dunkirk' conquers weekend with US$50.5m 'Valerian' flops

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While thousands of fanboys and fangirls from around the world descended on San Diego for Comic-Con 2017, it was still business as usual at the box office, with Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk coming away with an easy win. The movie took in a mere $17 million, even after he appeared on several US talk shows over the weekend to promote the film.

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Recounting one of World War II's most famous battles, Dunkirk stars Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden - and One Direction's Harry Styles, who makes his acting debut in the movie, much to the delight of fans, who made their presence known at the film's London and NY premieres.

Elsewhere at the North American box office, Universal's Girls Tripbroke the R-rated comedy curse in debuting to $30.4 million from 2,591 theaters. For comparison, his film "Lucy", starring Scarlett Johansson, opened to $43.8 million in 2014. Its stars ― Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Regina Hall and Queen Latifah ― made ample media appearances last week, stoking positive word-of-mouth and setting "Girls Trip" apart from the similar "Rough Night", which fizzled at the box office last month. Girls Trip was in play at 2,195 venues, while Valerian was in about 2,600 venues. Malcolm D. Lee directed and produced alongside producer Will Packer.

Taking on an estimated $US50.5 million domestically, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the intimate war epic proves that dramatic titles catered for the 30-year-old and older crowd (and Harry Styles fans) can earn coin within the blockbuster-filled summer slate.

The sci-fi epic should land in fifth this weekend with about US$17 million from 3,553 locations.

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With such an extensive list of World War II films, it can sometimes be hard to get people excited for yet another movie about fighting Nazis.

On the flip side, the fifth place, $17 million debut for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is quite disappointing, coming in under two holdovers, Spider-Man: Homecoming in third place with $22 million and last weekend's victor War For the Planet of the Apes, which dropped a massive 63.7%, falling from first to fourth place with $20.4 million.

"We're absolutely thrilled with this incredible result on this brilliant film", said Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein.

Receiving a B- CinemaScore, Valerian is based on the French graphic novel series and stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as celestial cops who must travel through space and time in order to save the universe.

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.

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