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'Dunkirk' captures N. American box office

AFP Monday, Jul 24, 2017 440 reads

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AFP/File / ANGELA WEISSSinger Harry Styles is one of the stars of "Dunkirk," which opened in the top spot in the North American box office this weekend

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 $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 $30.4 million in tickets sold.


Third place went to "Spider-Man: Homecoming," which pulled in $22 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 an evil human dictator -- raked in $20.4 million in its second week for fourth place.


Rounding out the top five was another debut, Luc Besson's $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" ($12.7 million)


"Baby Driver" ($6.0 million)


"The Big Sick" ($5.0 million)


"Wonder Woman" ($4.6 million)


"Wish Upon" ($2.5 million)

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