Dunkirk hangs tough at No. 1
Dunkirk, Warner Bros.’ World War II epic, led the U.S. box office for a second weekend after Columbia’s The Emoji Movie was almost universally panned by critics.
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk collected about $27 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, ComScore Inc. said Sunday. The Emoji Movie placed second with $24.5 million.
The second weekend win is a boost for Time Warner Inc.’s film division, which is basking in rave reviews and Oscar buzz for Dunkirk. The studio’s sales this year are up 9 percent, buoyed by the summer superhero feature Wonder Woman.
Dunkirk fell 44 percent from its debut last weekend, and raised its total to $101.3 million through Sunday, according to Warner Bros. Typically, film sales drop by 60 percent or more in the second weekend. About a quarter of the domestic ticket sales were from Imax Corp. screenings.
The Emoji Movie explores a hidden world inside smartphones. Set in the city of Textopolis, the film features the emoji Gene, who’s trying to fit in with others that just have one expression. Comedian T.J. Miller provides the voice of Gene. Anna Faris and James Corden are among the other well-known voices in the movie.
The film cost $50 million to make, not including marketing costs, and was forecast to generate $22 million on its debut by researcher Box Office Mojo.
Critics hated it, with just 8 percent of reviews being positive, according to aggregator RottenTomatoes.com. None of the movie’s initial 22 reviews were positive on July 27 and analysts at BoxOfficePro.com said they lowered their estimates to $26.9 million from $30 million, predicting it would come up short against Dunkirk, which they said would top the box office with $28.5 million.
“Though Emoji was No. 1 on Friday, Dunkirk by virtue of its stellar reviews, enjoyed a spectacular uptick on Saturday while Emoji saw its fortunes fall almost simultaneously,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore Inc. “Reviews and social media sentiment have an impact like never before and while they can be your best friend, they also have the power to bring down a movie very quickly.”
The other new release of the weekend, Atomic Blonde, placed fourth with about $18.3 million.The decidedly R-rated action thriller starring Charlize Theron as a lethal spy was met with raves when it debuted at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March. Now the film’s wide release is testing audiences’ appetite for the stylish picture that’s billed as a female twist on James Bond and John Wick movies.
And audiences seem pleased, giving the picture a B CinemaScore. Critics have also generally favored the Sierra/Affinity-financed film, as it has a 75 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Coming in third was Universal’s Girls Trip, with about $20 million. It has grossed $65 million domestically.
Rounding out this week’s top five was Columbia’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, with $13.3 million in its fourth week. It has pulled in about $278 million domestically, plus more than $355 million overseas.
Gene (voice of T.J. Miller) and Hi-5 (voice of James Corden) are among the cast of characters in The Emoji Movie. It came in second at last weekend’s box office and made about $24.5 million.