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Weekend Box Office Report: Thankfully, ‘Dunkirk’ Holds Off ‘The Emoji Movie’

Dunkirk
Warner Bros.

Be honest with me: did you really want to see a picture of The Emoji Movie at the top of this article? You had to be hoping that Atomic Blonde or Dunkirk would prevent us from watching advertisements about The Emoji Movie being the number one movie in America, right? Well, good news for you: it fell short! We’re free! Has there ever in the history of Hollywood been a box office one-two as disparate as Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie? Actually, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know. Here’s the projected grosses as of Sunday afternoon:

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Dunkirk $28,130,000 (-44%) $7,505 $102,836,220
2 The Emoji Movie $25,650,000 $6,294 $25,650,000
3 Girls Trip $20,085,540 (-35%) $7,585 $65,524,760
4 Atomic Blonde $18,554,000 $5,616 $18,554,000
5 Spider-Man: Homecoming $13,450,000 (-39%) $3,710 $278,356,805
6 War for the Planet of the Apes $10,375,000 (-50%) $3,075 $118,687,629
7 Despicable Me 3 $7,725,895 (-40%) $2,550 $230,425,800
8 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets $6,800,000 (-60%) $1,914 $30,626,147
9 Baby Driver $4,050,000 (33%) $2,065 $92,046,188
10 Wonder Woman $3,540,000 (-23%) $2,144 $395,443,706

As always, let’s start with the new releases. In second place this weekend with $25.6 million dollars is The Emoji Movie, the latest in Sony Animation’s ouevre of mediocre films. Despite the film’s catastrophic reviews, The Emoji Movie is actually the sixth-biggest opening in the studio’s history – finishing just behind the Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatball movies – which actually speaks well to the future of the studio. Since The Emoji Movie only cost a reported $50 million to make, Sony can afford to have another of its middling successes without worrying too much about the margins. There seems to be a general trend in animation to move away from the $150+ million dollar budgets, and movies like Smurfs: The Lost Village ($60 million) and The Emoji Movie show that Sony is no longer angling for the $80 – $100 million range of its previous properties. As a film, The Emoji Movie may stink, but as a test? It sits alongside Captain Underpants as proof that cheaper animation can still draw a crowd.

In fourth place with $18.5 million is Atomic Blonde, and if you thought that The Emoji Movie was pinching its pennies, you have no idea how much ‘oomph’ director David Leitch was able to milk out of his $30 million budget. The obvious touchpoint here is, of course, the original John Wick, which only cost $20 million to make but grossed $14.4 million in its opening weekend, en route to a $43 million domestic total. While the insanely low budget means that success is pretty much guaranteed, how well Atomic Blonde performs will probably depend on its word-of-mouth. If Atomic Blonde can generate a similar buzz as John Wick and quickly be regarded as one of the best action movies of the year, it could likely end up somewhere between the domestic grosses of John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2. That being said, considering that range is comprised of $43 million to $92 million, that’s a lot of possible outcomes for the film. I’m hopeful.

That does it for the new releases, so let’s check in on some of our repeat offenders. Maintaining its top spot this week is Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk, which has pretty much maintained a similar pace as Interstellar through its first two weekends. With $100 million at home and more than $130 million abroad, Dunkirk is doing what most Christopher Nolan movies do: earn accolades and make a surprising amount of money at the box office. In third place this week with $20 million is Girls Trip, and while that might not seem too impressive to you on first blush, consider: Wonder Woman maintained an impressive 37% decline over its first four weeks and we all lost our minds about how well the film performed, and here Girls Trip just throws out a 35% decline like its no big deal. With $65 million in the bank already, it’s hard to imagine Girls Trip not hitting $100 million in theaters, which is pretty impressive by any standards.

Spider-Man: Homecoming holds in fifth place with $13.4 million, bringing its domestic total up to $278.3 million. That pretty much cements the film’s box office position between the original Spider-Man trilogy and the disappointing The Amazing Spider-Man movies, which matches the critical reception as well. Marvel will gladly pocket the film’s $633 million at the global box office thus far, but we live in odd times when the earning power of one of Marvel’s most popular characters ends up a lot closer to some of its second-tier titles (cough Doctor Strange cough). War for the Planet of the Apes finishes in sixth place with $10.3 million, bringing its domestic total up to $118 million and its worldwide gross up to $224 million. These numbers seem disappointing at first glance – especially given the $710 million worldwide gross of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – but it’s important to also remember that the film has, best as I can figure, yet to open in China given the country’s annual summer ban on Hollywood movies. Add Dawn‘s $100 million gross in China to War‘s final numbers and things look a little bit rosier.

Despicable Me 3 finished in seventh place this week with $7.7 million, bringing its domestic total up to $230 million. That might not be enough to slip it past the original film in the franchise rankings, but given the astounding international box office, this movie has still made $819 million worldwide. Universal is now officially the house that minions built. In eighth place this week is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which tumbled down to $6.8 million in its second weekend. For a movie that cost $180 million to make, Valerian‘s $30 million gross thus far is a huge blow to Luc Besson’s reputation as a steady earner. Better hope that the foreign markets boost this one in a big way. In ninth place is Baby Driver, which inches closer to $100 million at the domestic market with $4 million this past weekend. At this rate, Edgar Wright‘s film should break the nine-figure landmark at some point in the next two weekends. And finally, enjoying what might finally be its final weekend in the Top 10, is Wonder Woman, which earned $3.5 million at the bottom of the list. Its box office domination complete, now Wonder Woman can set its eyes on Oscar gold in the months to come.

‘Dunkirk’ Review: Christopher Nolan’s Tense Trip Through Time

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