If you need more evidence that Christopher Nolan is the most bankable director working today, look no further than the box office of Dunkirk. Here’s a plot-light World War II movie with no major movie stars in leading roles and no sci-fi or known IPhook, and yet it’s now grossed over $500 million at the box office. Arguably, it hit that number based on Nolan’s name more than any other thing, and indeed this purely experiential cinema experience is a bona fide hit.
While Dunkirk’s $500 million is still a ways off from the >$800 million worldwide grosses of superhero blockbusters like Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming, it’s now outgrossed Cars 3, The LEGO Batman Movie, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Alien: Covenant. Moreover, it’s nipping at the heels of Kong: Skull Island’s $566 million, well in range of Logan’s $616 million total, and shockingly close to Transformers: The Last Knight’s $605 million.
All of this is made even more impressive by the fact that Nolan scaled down the budget of Dunkirk to $100 million, which is downright tiny by current blockbuster standards. That means this is a major money maker for Warner Bros., who is no doubt investing that coin back into the film’s awards campaign as they’ve got high hopes to land Nolan his first ever Best Director Oscar nomination.
Domestically Dunkirk currently stands at $183 million and ranks at #8 on the 2017 list, just above The LEGO Batman Movie and just behind The Fate of the Furious. As for how the film’s worldwide total stacks up against Nolan’s other films, here’s the complete and current ranking as of today.
- The Dark Knight Rises – $1,084,939,099
- The Dark Knight - $1,004,558,444
- Inception – $825,532,764
- Interstellar – $675,120,017
- Dunkirk – $500,000,000
- Batman Begins – $374,218,673
- Insomnia – $113,714,830
- The Prestige – $109,676,311
- Memento – $39,723,096
- Following – $48,482