Christopher Nolan's latest from Warner Bros.
over-performed last weekend when it opened to over $50 million,
showing that the director, combined with positive critical
reception, still has a strong draw -- even for a movie lacking
movie star power, and at risk of being written off as yet
another World War II movie. This time around it looks to take in
$28.1 million from 3,748 locations, for a strong hold.
It's the first time that a movie has been first place two
weekends in a row since the same studio's "Wonder Woman" in
early June. Patty Jenkins' movie has had a phenomenal run since,
and is currently closing in on $400 million domestic (right now
it's at $395.4 million).
That means Sony's "Emoji Movie" is in second for the weekend
with $25.7 million from 4,075 locations. The animated adventure
took a lot of heat from critics -- reaction ranged from meh to
horrible, earning its current Rotten Tomatoes score of 8%. Its B
CinemaScore is also quite low for an animated movie, meaning
audiences aren't particularly enjoying the movie either.
T.J. Miller plays the central character, a "Meh" emoji who has
"no filter," meaning his expression can change. The same cannot
be said for the rest of the cast, which includes James Corden,
Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Christina Aguilera, and Sofia Vergara.
Oh yeah, and Sir Patrick Stewart plays "Poop."
"We're thrilled," said Sony's marketing chief Josh Greenstein.
"The audience has spoken and made the 'Emoji Movie' a family
That leaves this week's other major release, "Atomic Blonde"
somewhat straggling. Focus Features and Sierra/Affinity is
looking at a decent, but slightly below expectations launch for
the Charlize Theron-starrer with $18.5 million from 3,304
locations. Earlier in the week "Blonde" was pegged at $20
million, but the opening weekend result is still solid
considering its $30 million budget. It's also one of the largest
launches for Focus, behind only "Insidious Chapter 3" ($22.7
million); "London Has Fallen" ($21.6 million); and "Burn After
Reading" ($19.1 million).
The R-rated spy thriller has been compared to a female "Bond" or
"John Wick." After all, it shares DNA with the latter in
stuntman-turned-director David Leitch, who will next helm the "Deadpool"
sequel. "Blonde's" launch is bigger than the first "Wick," which
opened in Fall 2014 to $14.4 million, but less than its sequel
In "Blonde," Theron plays a hardcore action star -- the type of
character that knocked out audiences in "Mad Max: Fury Road" --
named Lorraine Broughton. The rest of the cast includes James
McAvoy, John Goodman, and Sofia Boutella.
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"We're very happy with the opening. I feel this movie is going to
have legs to it," said Lisa Bunnell, distribution chief at Focus
Bunnell also pointed to Focus' commitment to putting women in and
front and behind the camera with recent releases including "The
Beguiled" and "The Zookeeper's Wife." "There's always a thought
process behind 'Let's see some diversity,'" she said. "This is
definitely a movie where Charlize takes center stage ... she can
fight men, and she can beat men, so it's a really empowering movie
to go see."
"Blonde" will land just below the summer comedy event that "Girls
Trip" has become. Universal's release is posting $20.1 million
during its second weekend from 2,648 theaters, for only a 36% drop
from last weekend. Conversely, EuropaCorp and STX's "Valerian and
the City of a Thousand Planets" flopped last weekend, and is falling
off fast. This weekend, Luc Besson's epic domestic dud should make
$6.8 million from 3,553 locations. Sony's "Spider-Man: Homecoming"
is hanging in the top five with an additional $13.5 million this
Annapurna showed Kathryn Bigelow's "Detroit" at 20 locations before
its wide rollout next weekend. From those theaters, the critically
approved crime drama took in $365,455 for a per screen average of
"We're seeing that first and foremost,
people are really into the movie," said Annapurna's distribution
head Erik Lomis, who pointed to strong exit information, including
71% of the audience marked "definite recommend." "It's a Kathryn
Bigelow film, so it's for everybody," he added.
To treat the bigger picture, this weekend is not good news for the
summer box office overall, which is now 8.1% behind last year.
"We have been in a major struggle to compare favorably with last
year's summer season week after week and with yet another 'down'
weekend on the books, the summer deficit just added another
percentage point in the wrong direction," said Paul Dergarabedian,
senior media analyst at ComScore, who pointed out that this
weekend's crop could not compete with 2016's "Jason Bourne" and "Bad
Moms." Looking ahead, the first weekend in August seems to signal
even more gloom and doom, as several films will be measured up
against "Suicide Squad's" record breaking August 2016 tally.
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