The astritics seem to be in agreement: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is one of, if not the, best films of the year and a surefire Oscar contender, giving the World War II epic a “Fresh” rating of 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Now Warner Bros. will look to turn that critical acclaim into box office success.
Currently, “Dunkirk” is pegged by independent trackers for an opening weekend in the range of $30-40 million, with WB’s projections on the upper end of that range. The film will be released in 3,700 locations, which includes a variety of special formats including IMAX, 35mm, and 70mm film.
But there’s the chance that independent projections may be underestimating “Dunkirk’s” potential. Unlike many blockbusters, WWII movies tend to attract an older male audience that is not always represented in social media and could help push the opening for “Dunkirk” into the $40-50 million range. Even if it doesn’t, older audiences can help give”Dunkirk’s” box office haul legs, as older audiences tend to see films in later weeks.
“It can be hard for trackers to gauge this component of moviegoers, which isn’t as on the grid as much as their younger counterparts,” comScore’s Paul Dergarabedian says. “So ‘Dunkirk’ could surprise a lot of people.”