Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" earned $5.5 million at the Thursday box office, with $1.6 million coming from 402 IMAX locations.
"Dunkirk" was pegged by independent trackers for an opening weekend in the range of $30-40 million, with Warner Bros.' projections on the upper end of that range.
"Dunkirk" has enjoyed social media buzz that no other film of its kind has received thanks to an unexpected periphery demographic: One Direction fans. According to comScore's PreAct social media charts, "Dunkirk" has been one of the top 3 most talked about upcoming releases for each of the past three weeks, sharing the top spots with intensely hyped franchise staples like "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Avengers: Infinity War." To date, "Dunkirk" has accumulated 1.35 million social media conversations on PreAct, making it the only summer movie outside of "Wonder Woman" and Disney-related IP to score over 1 million conversations on the system.
"Dunkirk" tells the story of the Dunkirk Evacuation, a famous moment from the early stages of World War II in which over 300,000 Allied soldiers were rescued after being surrounded by Nazi forces in Frances. Nolan is writer-director on the film, and produced it with his wife, Emma Thomas. The film's cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy.
EuropaCorp's "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" grossed $1.7 million from approximately 2,600 theaters on Thursday. In comparison, 2015's "Jupiter Ascending" earned $1 million in previews and went on to earn $18 million its opening weekend.
Going into the weekend, projections had the film making $18-22 million in its opening weekend against a reported $150 million budget. That means the film will need a strong performance from Europe, where the graphic novel the film is adapted from, "Valerian and Laureline," is more well-known.
"Valerian" stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as a pair of 28th century intergalactic agents tasked with investigating a crisis that is threatening the City of a Thousand Planets, a massive space colony that was once the International Space Station and has since moved out into space and become a cultural exchange for thousands of alien species. Their adventure leads them to uncover a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of their organization. The film also stars Clive Owen, Sam Spruell, Kris Wu, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, and Rihanna. Besson wrote and directed the film, as well as co-produced it with his wife, Virginie Besson-Silla.
Universal Pictures' "Girls Trip" also earned $1.7 million in previews on Thursday night from 2,195 theaters.
This number is significantly better than the preview performance of Scarlett Johansson's "Rough Night," which, similarly to "Girls Trip," focused on a group of friends going on a vacation. "Rough Night" hit theaters one month ago and earned $700,000 in previews.
"Girls Trip" stars Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish as four lifelong friends who bond on a trip to New Orleans filled with both tender moments and wild partying. Malcolm D. Lee directed the film from a script by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, and produced the film with Will Packer.