Valerian and Laureline are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner—blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him. Under directive from their Commander, Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time—uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger.
July 20th, 2017 (Wide), released as Валериан и градът на хилядите планети (Bulgaria)
July 21st, 2017 (Wide), released as Valerian a město tisíce planet (Czech Republic)
July 21st, 2017 (Wide) (Germany)
July 21st, 2017 (Wide) (Slovakia)
July 27th, 2017 (Wide), released as Valerian ve Bin Gezegen İmparatorluğu (Turkey)
... Show all releases
It is a slow week on the home market for two reasons. Technically it is one reason, but it is having two effects. It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which means the schedule is really busy and I need to keep this list short in order to save time. Also, while Thanksgiving means Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest shopping days of the year, you don’t want to release something new into that storm of chaos. The biggest release of the week, not counting VOD releases is The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which I reviewed. As for the best release on this week’s list, I’m torn between Good Time, NEW GAME: The Complete First Season, and The Villainess. It was down to a roll of the dice, but The Villainess on Blu-ray Combo Pack is the Pick of the Week.
Dunkirk returned to the international top five for the first time in nearly a month with $36.5 million in 60 markets for totals of $280.0 million international and $459.0 million worldwide. Nearly all of this came from its first place opening in China, where it pulled in $29.80 million over the weekend for a four-day opening of $30.27 million. The film also opened in Italy, but had to settle for second place with $3.6 million on 606 screens. Dunkirk wraps up its international run in Japan this weekend and will finish with north of $500 million worldwide. Unless it cost an obscene amount to advertise, this will be enough to ensure profitability by its initial push into the home market.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets earned first place on the international chart with $32.78 million in 32 countries for totals of $124.12 million internationally and $163.81 million worldwide. The film earned first place in China with $28.88 million over the weekend for a total of $29.24 million. The film has yet to open in South Korea and Italy so it will likely top its production budget worldwide; that’s nowhere near enough to break even, but if it can get to $200 million worldwide, then it can at least safe face.
Ingrid Goes West opened in first place on the theater average chart with an average of $45,100 in three theaters. This is the third best average of the year behind The Big Sick (average of $84,315 in five) and The Beguiled ($57,323 in four). A24 had another success with Good Time earning an average of $31,275 in four theaters. The Trip to Spain opened with an average of $15,102 in three theaters, which is in the middle of the franchise average so far. Finally there’s Wind River, which was the only holdover in the $10,000 club. It managed an average of $13,615 in 45 theaters and already has nearly $1 million in limited release.
Summer is coming to a close, as the two new releases, The Emoji Movie and Atomic Blonde had okay openings over the weekend. Dunkirk was able to earn first place with $26.61 million, which is great news for that movie, but bad news for the overall box office, as it is the worst result for a number one film since April. Overall, the box office fell 20% from last week to $144 million. This is 24% lower than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2017 is now behind 2016 by 1.7% or $120 million at $6.70 billion to $6.82 billion.
Atomic Blonde easily topped The Emoji Movie during previews, earning $1.52 million. However, had the action flick not topped the family film, it would have been a disaster. Compared to other recent action films, Atomic Blonde underperformed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ($1.7 million) and Baby Driver ($2.1 million), but at least it topped King Arthur: Legend of the Sword ($1.15 million). This summer, the average action film has opened with just over 10 times what it made during its previews, which is bad news for Atomic Blonde, as it puts the film’s opening weekend at $15 million to $16 million. Its reviews are good, but not great enough to really change this trend. Even $20 million would be a boon after this start.
Both Dunkirk and Girls Trip topped expectations earning $50.51 million and $31.20 million respectively. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets didn’t do as well, but it should do well internationally. Overall, the weekend box office rose 11% from last weekend earning $181 million. On the downside, this was 7.8% lower than the same weekend last year and 2017 had already lost its lead over 2016, so this is really bad news. Year-to-date, 2017 is now behind 2016 by $31 million / 0.5% at $6.46 billion to $6.49 billion. Things really need to turn around soon, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Hopefully the fall will be much better.
Dunkirk dominated the Friday box office chart. Okay, maybe dominate is too strong a word, but more on that down below. The film earned a better than anticipated opening day of $19.8 million. Additionally, its reviews are award-worthy, while it earned an A minus from CinemaScore. Frankly, given its reviews, I’m surprised it only got an A minus. With its $5.5 million in previews, I was expecting an opening day a little north of $20 million, so hopefully this isn’t a sign of short legs. Look for an opening weekend of $55 million. On a side note, the reason we are not using Dunkirk images is we only got two of them and we’ve already used them both, twice. I tried to find the French site to see if they had more images (This is what I did for Kong: Skull Island.) but I ended up on the Dunkirk tourist site by accident and now all of the ads I see on YouTube are in French.
I was expectingDunkirk to make about $4 million during previews and it made $5.5 million. Since its reviews are award-worthy and the film is aimed at a more mature target audience, it should have better legs than most similar films. Perhaps $60 million is more likely than I thought.
So far this summer, box office is running about $200 million behind last year’s pace. The numbers have fallen so far that, year to date, 2017 is now behind 2016’s box office pace. This is even more depressing as last weekend, five of the top six films earned Tomatometer Scores that were over 90% positive. This week, we are continuing the amazing run with critics as two of the three wide releases are earning 90% positive reviews or better, but it doesn’t look like we will be able to improve our box office woes. This weekend last year, Star Trek Beyond opened with nearly $60 million and four other films earned more than $20 million. This weekend, Dunkirk will open in first place and it might top Star Trek Beyond, but that seems unlikely. Even getting to $50 million could be asking too much. Girls Trip should have a box office run somewhere between Rough Night and Bad Moms. ... Yes, I know that’s a lot of wiggle room, but there’s a lot of uncertainty here. Finally there’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which cost $180 million to make but is earning almost no buzz here. (It should do a lot better internationally.) We would have to have all three new releases beat expectations and have solid holdovers for 2017 to come out ahead in the year-over-year comparison.
Next weekend, there are three wide releases. Originally, I thought Dunkirk would walk away with the weekend, but I’ve heard rumblings that the film isn’t going to live up to expectations, either at the box office or with critics. It is still likely going to be the biggest new release of the week, but Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets at least has a shot at the upset. Dunkirk is still the best choice for the target film in this week’s box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening three-day weekend box office number for Dunkirk.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film’s opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a Frankenprise consisting of their choice of either one TV on DVD release, two movies, or a kids package (could be a theatrical release, a couple of single-disc TV on DVD releases, or a full season TV on DVD release).
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film’s opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a Frankenprize, as described above.
Finally, we will be choosing an entrant from the group of people who haven’t won, or haven’t won recently, and they will win the final Frankenprize, as described above.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don’t delay!
I hate it when the first of the month lands on a Saturday. By the time this story goes live, we will still have almost no box office data for Despicable Me 3, so we won’t know if June ended on a positive note. Fortunately, Wonder Woman beat expectations and might end up as the biggest hit of the summer, at least for a little while. July begins with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which should make at least $300 million and is the last film being released this summer that has a shot at being a $400 million hit domestically. It is very likely that nothing else this month will come within $100 million of that movie, so that could help its legs. There are a few potential $100 million hits, including War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, and a couple of other long shots. Last July had a similar feel with The Secret Life of Pets topping the list with well over $300 million, while there were five other $100 million hits. This July would have to beat expectations substantially to match this performance. I’m not confident 2017 will be able to maintain its pace at the box office. I’m worried at least one big film will struggled and 2017 will end the month behind 2016’s pace.
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