Director-writer Christopher Nolan last week urged audiences to see Dunkirk as a Hitchcockian suspense movie, not as a conventional, blood-and-guts war film.

However moviegoers perceive the $US150 million WW2 epic, they sure seem to like it judging by the opening weekend figures in Australia, the US and internationally.

Meanwhile Paris Can Wait, Eleanor Coppola’s narrative directorial debut (at age 81), drew a reasonable number.

Historical drama The Black Prince opened moderately well while the Radio Birdman feature documentary Descent into the Maelstrom struggled to make an impact.

The top 20 titles collected $14.6 million, down 20 per cent on the previous weekend, according to Numero.

Warner Bros’ Dunkirk captured $6 million at 292 locations and $6.2 million with previews. Pro-rata that is even better than the $US50.5 million debut in the US for the action-drama starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Harry Styles.

The saga of the evacuation of British and Allied troops from the French seaport of Dunkerque 77 years ago opened in 46 international markets, ringing up $55.4 million and resonating best in the UK, Korea and France.

After a fast start Sony’s Baby Driver took its foot off the pedal in its second weekend, falling by 46 per cent as it mustered $2.4 million at 264 cinemas. Writer-director Edgar Wright’s kinetic action film starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James and Jon Hamm raced along to $8.5 million.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming climbed to $22.3 million after pocketing nearly $2.1 million in its third frame at 300, tumbling by 58 per cent.

Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 topped $31.1 million after minting $945,000 in its sixth outing on 286, down 69 per cent.

Disney/Pixar’s under-performing Cars 3 dropped by 69 per cent to $477,000 in its fifth frame on 266, banking $12.6 million.

Released by Transmission Films, Paris Can Wait, a leisurely road movie starring Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard and Alec Baldwin, fetched $454,000 on 113, including previews. Eleanor Coppola made her directing debut on the 1991 feature doc Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, which chronicled the nightmarish struggles on Apocalypse Now, which nearly destroyed the career of her husband Francis Ford Coppola.

Warner Bros’ blockbuster Wonder Woman ascended to $30.7 million after bringing in $385,000 in its eighth weekend on 196, off 53 per cent.

Fox’s family animated film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul drew $201,000 in its fourth weekend on 215, plunging by 75 per cent, to reach $5.7 million.

Word-of-mouth for Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is not as strong as Universal may have hoped for as the American Civil War drama starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning fell by 55 per cent in its second weekend at 57 cinemas, earning $193,000, which brings the total to $880,000.

Paramount’s Transformers: The Last Knight declined by 67 per cent to $190,000 in its fifth orbit on 158. Michael Bay’s action adventure has grossed a mediocre $11.8 million in Australia and $127.5 million in the US but an impressive $420.2 million internationally.

Director Kavi Raz’s The Black Prince, which tells the true story of the last King of the Sikh Empire and the Punjab and his relationship with Queen Victoria, collected $101,000 on 25 screens for Seven Colors Entertainment.

Umbrella Entertainment launched director Jonathan Sequeira’s Descent into the Maelstrom, which charts the rise and fall of 1970s band Radio Birdman, on 17 screens, yielding $46,000 including previews.