The first official trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is finally here after a handful of smaller teasers. Check it out below.
This first official trailer looks pretty good. In fact, it looks tense, suspenseful, emotionally gut-wrenching and entertaining. It’s not like Nolan has ever really made a through-and-through bad film.
Unfortunately, the gorgeousness of these IMAX battle scenes is somewhat old hat, especially if you saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which may not attract as many fans as the studio is hoping.
Dunkirk is set to hit theaters in mid-July, which used to be Warner Bros.’ prime money-making slot. Stroll with me through memory lane and you’ll remember the fifth, sixth and eighth Harry Potter movies, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and The Conjuring all dropping then and earning strong opening weekend numbers and enjoying successful overall runs.
Can Dunkirk put up similar numbers as those MASSIVE blockbusters? It’s hard to say, but I’d lean towards no.
The movie is clearly a big-budget adult film that goes against the grain of this summer’s typical kid-friendly offerings. Counter-programming like that tends to do well. Some comparisons can be made to Saving Private Ryan ($481 million worldwide in 1998), Pearl Harbor ($449 million in 2001) and Captain America: The First Avengers ($370.5 million in 2011). World War II is a popular focus for filmmakers likely because it enables them to tell big action stories without exploring the sketchy morality closely associated with nearly every other American war. Fighting Nazis is never a morally gray area.
Despite the emphasis on the subject matter, very few WWII movies break out at the box office, especially not recently. Saving Private Ryan is about to turn 20, after all, and the average box office performance in this genre seems to settle between $250 million and $350 million for bigger budgeted affair.
So, will Dunkirk be the exception to the rule? Will it be considered a success if it “only” manages around $300 million worldwide? Stay tuned to find out.