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‘Dunkirk’ captures North American box office

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 instalment 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)