BO Report: Christopher Nolan’s resilient ’Dunkirk’ fends off spy thriller ‘Atomic Blonde’

07 August, 2017 by Don Groves

‘Atomic Blonde’.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk keeps winning hearts and minds as it regained the lead in its third weekend at Australian cinemas, ahead of stylish spy thriller Atomic Blonde.


Romantic comedy The Big Sick had a middling debut while The Trip to Spain, the third iteration of the Rob Brydon/Steve Coogan culinary road movie series, could be its dead end.

Meanwhile a fair number of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s fans turned out for romantic comedy Jab Harry Met Sejal, although well below the blockbuster level he usually attains.

The top 20 titles grossed $11.6 million last weekend, down 22 per cent on the previous weekend, according to Numero.

Warner Bros’ Dunkirk captured $2.7 million at 306 cinemas, a mild drop of 31 per cent. The WWII thriller starring Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy and a lot of lesser-known young actors has earned a terrific $16.4 million so far. The global tally stands at $314.2 million, including $133.3 million in the US.

Last weekend’s champ, Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes, plunged by 49 per cent, taking $2.1 million at 282 locations. Matt Reeves’ sci-fi action drama featuring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn has pocketed a handy $7.3 million in 11 days.

Director David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde stars Charlize Theron as a MI5 operative on a mission in West Berlin at the end of the Cold War and James McAvoy as a rogue agent. Based on the graphic novel ‘The Coldest City’, the Universal release pulled in $1.7 million at 267 and $2.2 million with previews.

Pro-rata that’s better than the $US18.3 million debut in the US, where the film has collected a solid $34.1 million in 10 days.

Zoe Kazan, Pakistani-born actor-comedian Kumail Nanjiani, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano star in Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick. Based on real life, the saga of Nanjiani’s relationship with an American grad student and her feisty parents drew $1.1 million at 266 and $1.5 million including previews for Roadshow.

Sony’s Baby Driver drummed up $849,000 in its fourth lap on 267, down 38 per cent. Edgar Wright’s exhilarating thrill ride starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James and Jon Hamm has raked in $11.8 million.

Stablemate Spider-Man: Homecoming flew to $24.7 million after pocketing $594,000 in its fifth frame at 237, dropping by 44 per cent. The worldwide total is an impressive $671 million.

Chinese actor-director Wu Jing’s Wolf Warriors 2 brought in $427,000 on 15 screens, jumping by a remarkable 321 per cent in its second weekend to reach $685,000. In 11 days in China the military actioner has scored a phenomenal $468.7 million.

Director Imtiaz Ali’s Jab Harry Met Sejal, which stars Shah Rukh as Harry, a womanising tour guide who reluctantly agrees to help Anushka Sharma’s Sejal find the engagement ring she lost on vacation in Europe, rang up $276,000 on 35 screens for Mind Blowing Films.

Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s crowd-pleaser Despicable Me 3 topped $32 million after minting $272,000 in its eighth outing at 204, easing by 38 per cent. The comedy co-directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin has racked up a lucrative $879.5 million worldwide.

Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Spain follows Coogan and Brydon as they sample restaurants and trade barbs and anecdotes in Cantabria, the Basque region, Aragon, Rioja, Castile-La Mancha and Andalusia. Fairfax Media’s Paul Byrnes found Coogan’s persona unlikeable and the dialogue more wounding than amusing, concluding, “Once was fun, twice was pushing it and thrice is just tiresome.”

Audiences seem to agree as the Madman release rustled up $211,000 at 79 cinemas and a more respectable $310,000 including festival screenings. Maybe it plays better as a six-part series commissioned by the UK’s Sky Atlantic.