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Can 'Dunkirk' Hold Off 'Emoji Movie' and 'Atomic Blonde' For Second Weekend at #1?

by Brad Brevet
 

 
July 27, 2017

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $10 million on Friday, Sony's The Emoji Movie is going to be in a tight race with WB's Dunkirk for #1 at the weekend box office. Dunkirk landed an estimated $8 million on its second Friday in release and both films are looking to gross over $27 million for the weekend. It will largely come down to how Emoji plays over the weekend as opening day audiences gave the film a "B" CinemaScore, though kids under the age of 18 gave it an "A-".

Focus' new release of Atomic Blonde landed in third place on Friday, bringing in an estimated $7.1 million with an expectation for an opening around $18-19 million. The film also received a "B" CinemaScore from opening day audiences

Landing in fourth on Friday, but expected to finish third for the weekend is Universal's Girls Trip, which scored an estimated $6.2 million in its second Friday of release. The film is looking at an impressive 37% drop for the weekend and a three-day around $19.5 million should estimates hold. That's just a fraction less than the 35% average second weekend drop for films that opened in over 2,000 theaters and score an "A+" CinemaScore.

In limited release, Annapurna's Detroit brought in an estimated $132,176 on Friday from 20 theaters. The film is looking at a limited opening around $400k ahead of its nationwide release next weekend. Also, Paramount Vantage's release of the documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power brought in an estimated $61k and is looking to finish around $115k for the weekend.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Focus Features's Atomic Blonde grossed $1.52 million from preview screenings, which began last night in 2,685 theaters. That's nearly double the $870k John Wick brought in from preview showings before opening with $14.4 million and about $700k behind the $2.2 million John Wick: Chapter Two grossed before its $30.4 million opening earlier this year. It's also behind the $1.8 million Ghost in the Shell brought in earlier this year ahead of its $18.6 million opening.

Looking at more favorable comparisons, this is on par with the $1.5 million The Equalizer brought in from previews before opening with $34.1 million and ahead of the $1.4 million Kingsman: The Secret Service grossed before its $36.2 million debut.

Also last night, Sony's The Emoji Movie took in $900K from 2,205 Thursday early shows starting at 5PM. This is actually an improvement on the $800k The Angry Birds Movie brought in from previews before its $38.1 million opening as well as an improvement on the $650k brought in by Captain Underpants before its $23.8 million debut last month. At the same time, it's just behind the $850k preview gross for Ice Age: Collision Course, which opened with $21.3 million last July.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Not since Wonder Woman seven weeks ago has a film repeat atop the weekend box office. This weekend, Dunkirk is looking to do just that. Christopher Nolan's war drama faces incoming challenges in the form of Sony's animated feature The Emoji Movie and Focus's actioner Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron. Both Sony and Focus are anticipating openings around $20 million for their new releases, which wouldn't likely be enough to top Dunkirk's sophomore session, though both could over perform against those expectations making this a weekend to watch closely. Both the new releases and holdovers alike could provide some fireworks, including Universal's Girls Trip, which returns to the fray following its $31 million opening weekend and "A+" CinemaScore.

After debuting with $50.5 million last weekend, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk delivered a #1 opening and is hoping to do the same this weekend. In 2014, following a $47.5 million debut, Nolan's own Interstellar dropped just 40% in its second weekend while recent war features such as Lone Survivor and Fury dipped 41.7% and 43.6% respectively following their wide debuts. Given the nature of this weekend's competition, one being an animated feature and the other being an action film targeting a younger audience, Dunkirk should hold on quite well to the point we're forecasting a drop around 44% and a second weekend around $28 million. Based on what we're seeing that should be enough to repeat at #1, but it's far from a sure thing.

Sony's The Emoji Movie hits theaters this weekend, debuting in 4,075 theaters and the studio is going conservative with their expectations, projecting a $20 million opening. Reported tracking figures are looking a little higher, but we aren't seeing a lot of evidence this one has a chance to reach $30 million and win the weekend. Certainly, the early score of 8 on Metacritic isn't helping matters on that front.

While a series of historical metrics—including genre, MPAA rating, distributor and month of release—suggest an opening in this many theaters could mean an opening anywhere from $36-56 million, IMDb page view data brings those lofty expectations down to Earth. Emoji's page view performance has been outpacing Captain Underpants recently as well as Storks, two films which opened with $23.8 million and $21.3 million respectively. At the same time, it's pacing well behind The Croods ($43.6m opening) and behind Sony's own The Angry Birds Movie ($38m opening).

The best comparison we're seeing is to Disney's 2013 release of Planes, which opened with $22.2 million, which adjusts to $25.2 million based on today's ticket prices. While $25 million feels like a good forecast for Emoji at this point, it's hard not to wonder how much the Disney brand plays a role in the opening for Planes, a bump Emoji isn't likely receive. Anticipating some wiggle room on either side, an opening closer to $22 million for Emoji seems a safer bet and that's looking like it could be just enough for second place.

Next we come to Focus Features' release of Atomic Blonde, an R-rated actioner from David Leitch, one-half of the directorial team behind 2014's breakout hit John Wick, which debuted with $14.4 million and went on to gross over $43 million domestically. Blonde looks very much like Wick in tone and tenor and with Charlize Theron in the lead role it would appear to be arriving at just the right time following her recent turn as the villain in The Fate of the Furious and her much talked about performance in Mad Max: Fury Road a couple years back. While not on the same size and scale of those two films, should Atomic Blonde not only appeal to the 18-to-34 male demographic, but bring in a female audience looking for another strong female performance in the action genre on the heels of Wonder Woman, it could certainly find itself grossing more than the industry-expected $20 million.

Interestingly enough, IMDb page view data shows Blonde pacing well behind both John Wick films leading up to release, yet the overall number of page views it has received over the 90 days leading up to release actually makes things a little more competitive. One thing throwing off the results is the piqued online interest when this clip came online featuring Theron and co-star Sofia Boutella locked in "combat". Then, at the beginning of July, the film's final trailer delivered another jolt, but the fact it hasn't seen more significant gains over the last four days or so is somewhat concerning. It's also pacing behind the likes of the $18.6 million opener Ghost in the Shell and the monster 2014 hit Lucy. All told, an opening range of $18-22 million seems reasonable at this point, threatening second place, though perhaps dipping down a notch should our next film deliver the goods following its opening weekend.

Following an impressive $31.2 million opening last weekend, Universal's Girls Trip is hoping to continue the fun. Helping matters is the fact the film received a very rare "A+" CinemaScore, a score that finds films that opened in over 2,000 theaters dropping, on average, 35% in their second weekend. Can Girls Trip do the same? Bad Moms dropped 41% after its $23.8 million opening weekend while Bridesmaids dipped only 20.4% after opening with $26.2 million. One stat that gives us pause, however, is that Girls Trip director, Malcolm D. Lee, also directed The Best Man Holiday, which not only opened with $30.1 million, but also received an "A+" CinemaScore. That film dropped 58.5% in its second weekend. So which way will Girls Trip go? We're anticipating a drop around 43% and a second weekend at $17.8 million.

Rounding out the top five we have Spider-Man: Homecoming in its fourth weekend in release, looking to add another $11 million or so for a domestic total topping $275 million.

Additionally, this is likely to be Wonder Woman's last weekend in the top ten after opening nine weeks ago. Depending on how The Big Sick performs this weekend it looks likely Wonder Woman might just finish in tenth with $2.9 million as the film's domestic cume nears $395 million.

In limited release this weekend, Annapurna will debut Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit into 20 theaters before the film goes wide next weekend; Paramount Vantage is releasing An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the sequel to 2006's Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, into four theaters; A24 is releasing Menashe into three theaters; IFC is debuting From the Land of the Moon into two theaters; and Sony is releasing Mubarakan at 128 locations.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Dunkirk (3,748 theaters) - $28.3 M
  • The Emoji Movie (4,075 theaters) - $22.0 M
  • Atomic Blonde (3,304 theaters) - $20.0 M
  • Girls Trip (2,648 theaters) - $17.8 M
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (3,625 theaters) - $11.5 M
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (3,374 theaters) - $10.0 M
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (3,553 theaters) - $8.0 M
  • Despicable Me 3 (3,030 theaters) - $7.2 M
  • Baby Driver (1,961 theaters) - $4.0 M
  • Wonder Woman (1,651 theaters) - $2.9 M

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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