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Weekend Box Office: Dunkirk Holds Off Emoji Movie, Atomic Blonde for Second Weekend Win

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By Chris Kavan - 07/30/17 at 05:46 PM CT

Christopher Nolan's highly-praised war drama Dunkirk fended off the advancement of the family-friendly Emoji Movie to take the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row. Meanwhile, Charlize Theron's action-packed Atomic Blonde came in a bit below most expectations while Girls Trip has a spectacular second-week hold to stay in the top three. With fewer major blockbusters on the way in August, I expect many of the films in the top five to stick around for awhile.


It was close, but Dunkirk managed to top The Emoji Movie for the top spot at the box office. Dunkirk fell 44.3% - right in line with the 48% that Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation dipped in its second weekend in the same time frame two years ago - to bring in $28.1 million for a new total of $102.8 million. That tops the film's $100 million budget. If it follows the same path as Rogue Nation, Dunkirk is looking at a total in the $180-$190 million range - more if that awards season buzz leads to a re-release down the road. It's doing solid business internationally, led by the UK (no surprise given the subject matter), where it dropped a mere 16% in its second weekend with $35.4 million (topping the likes of American Sniper and Interstellar). Its foreign total stands at $131.3 million for a $234.1 million global total. Dunkirk should have no problem sticking around through August as the slate of upcoming films (The Dark Tower, Annabelle: Creation, Nut Job 2 and Hitman's Bodyguard) are not going to be super blockbuster-type films.


Famlies won out over action as The Emoji Movie got pretty close to toppling Dunkirk, but had to settle for second place with a $25.65 million opening. While critics were pretty harsh in their assessment of the film, audiences were a bit more forgiving, though a "B" Cinemascore is a bit low for a kid-friendly film. The breakdown was split nearly evenly between men and women with 64% coming in under the age of 25. At a $50 million budget, the Emoji Movie is going to have to work a bit harder, but it should wind up with at least $65 million, with a chance to go much higher if it can find an audience. Considering there aren't going to be any other family titles until August 11 when The Nut Job 2 drops, it will have at least awhile to find its footing. And, it should be noted, The Emoji Movie also has the highest opening for an original animated film for all of 2017.


The women of Girls Trip have another reason to celebrate. The ensemble comedy featuring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish had a great second-weekend hold, dipping a light 35.6% and bringing in $20.1 million for a new $65.5 million total. That drop is better than the second weekend for Bad Moms (41%), Ride Along (48%) and Think Like a Man (47%) among comparable titles. It is also good news for director Malcolm D. Lee as it is about to become his most successful film to date as it only has to top The Best Man Holiday ($70 millIion), which it should do easily in the next few days. It is truly the comedy break-out hit of the year after the likes of Snatched and Rough Night failed to entice audiences. It will top $100 million with little problem, and if it can retain an audience through August - who knows, $125 million might not be out of the question. The film seems to have found appeal with all audiences - men and women alike, and race does not seem to be playing any factor in to its success. This one should stick around the top five for awhile as well.


Though its action scenes are nearly unparalleled and Charlize Theron has proven herself an effective action star, Atomic Blonde, despite some heavy marketing hype, fell short of its expected $20 million opening and had to deal with a mere $18.55 million opening. The R-rated film doesn't pull its punches, with Theron going all out as Cold War spy who will do just about anything to get the job done. The film also received a "B" Cinemascore, with only 38% of the audience coming in under 25, while it was also split evenly between men and women. The $30 million film will still wind up doing well - if it plays like John Wick, it's going to wind up with over $50 million, if it can play like Salt, it will be closer to $60 million. Still, following the success of Wonder Woman, it's nice to see another female-driven film do decent business, even if Theron doesn't play a super hero.


Rounding out the top five, Spider-Man: Homecoming crossed the $275 million mark with a $13.45 million weekend and a new total of $278.35 million. The web-slinger dipped 39.3% in its fourth weekend and is looking more and more likely it's going to cross the $300 million mark before its done. That will make Homecoming the third biggest summer event movie, behind Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and will likely wind up in the top five in global sales. I would say for those arguing about the (second) remake being a bit of a letdown - I have no idea what they are talking about. Homecoming is about a successful of a reboot as one could imagine (we can only hope the upcoming Blade Runner does so well) and the MCU is definitely in good hands with their newest addition and I expect Spider-Man will fit in just fine when he returns.

Outside the top five: Kathryn Bigelow's dramatic Detroit launched in 20 theaters where it earned $365,455 (15th place) and a $18,273 per-theater average. That's a good start to the heavy drama, centered around the 1967 race riots, but it's hard to say what kind of audience it's going to bring in when it goes wide next weekend.

The weekend best limited opening went to An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which brought in $130,000 from 4 theater for a $32,500 per-theater average. Still, it only had a weak 2.1x weekend multiplier, meaning most people who watched it, saw it Friday and moved on. This will also expand in coming weeks.

Next week brings us The Dark Tower, the long-gestating project based on Stephen King's magnum opus, along with the nationwide expansion of Detroit and An Inconvenient Sequel and the long-delayed Halle Berry thriller Kidnap.


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