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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Dunkirk conquers the US as Valerian flops

World War II epic Dunkirk stormed to the top of the North American box office in its debut weekend while big budget Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets crashed and burned.

Singer/actor Harry Styles attends the Warner Bros. Pictures Dunkirk US premiere. AFP
Singer/actor Harry Styles attends the Warner Bros. Pictures Dunkirk US premiere. AFP

World War II epic Dunkirk stormed to the top of the North American box office in its debut weekend while big budget Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets crashed and burned.

Directed by Briton Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk took $50.5 million (Dh184 million), according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, becoming the first non-franchise film to top the charts this summer.

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

But while Nolan was rewarded for his visually stunning epic, French auteur Luc Besson's special-effects laden Valerian limped into the top five, grossing $17 million -- less than a tenth of its budget.

The EuropaCorp-financed film starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne is the most expensive independent film ever made, with some industry watchers calculating it would have to hit the $400 million mark worldwide to justify a sequel.

This week's runner-up was comedy Girls Trip starring Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish, which took $31.2 million in its debut weekend.

Third place went to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which pulled in $22.2 million in its third week of release. Overall, it has raked in more than $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 repression by humanity -- scored $20.9 million in its second week for fourth place.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Despicable Me 3 ($13.0 million), Baby Driver ($6.1 million), The Big Sick ($5.0 million), Wonder Woman ($4.6 million) and Wish Upon ($2.5 million)

* AFP