‘Dunkirk’ captures North American box office

dunkirkLOS ANGELES: Big-budget World War II epic “Dunkirk” stormed to the top of the North American box office in its opening weekend on the strength of stellar reviews and a sterling big screen debut by pop star Harry Styles, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The film directed by Briton Christopher Nolan — which took in an estimated US$50.5 million in the United States and Canada, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations — has been hailed by many critics as a masterpiece.

It stars One Direction singer Styles in the retelling of the heroic evacuation in 1940 of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from a beach in northern France under constant German bombardment.

Raunchy comedy “Girls Trip” starring Queen Latifah and Will Smith’s better half Jada Pinkett Smith, debuted in second place with US$30.4 million in tickets sold.

Third place went to “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which pulled in US$22 million in its third week of release. Overall, it has raked in more than US$250 million in North America.

Last week’s box office leader, “War For the Planet of the Apes” — the latest installation in the saga of intelligent primates’ battle against an evil human dictator — raked in US$20.4 million in its second week for fourth place.

Rounding out the top five was another debut, Luc Besson’s US$180 million space fantasy “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

The EuropaCorp-financed film starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, said to be the most expensive independent film ever made, grossed just over $17 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Despicable Me 3” (US$12.7 million)

“Baby Driver” (US$6.0 million)

“The Big Sick” (US$5.0 million)

“Wonder Woman” (US$4.6 million)

“Wish Upon” (US$2.5 million)