×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Will ‘Emoji Movie’ Fight Off ‘Atomic Blonde’ and ‘Dunkirk’ at Box Office?

Two vastly different movies will open at the domestic box office this weekend to vie for audience attention.

The first is Sony’s “Emoji Movie.” Despite the “Confused Face” or “Face With Rolling Eyes” that some deployed when the animated feature based on iPhone keyboard pictorials was announced, it now looks to have the upper hand this weekend, eyeballing up to $30 million from 4,069 theaters. The studio has it pegged closer to $20 million. In fairness, tracking shows a rather wide margin (albeit still not huge on the upper end).

That’s partially because it’s an original project, so it’s more difficult to tell how audiences will respond. The studio hopes for a long tail based on word of mouth. Visibility for the film has been exceptionally strong thanks to an aggressive marketing push that included T.J. Miller parasailing into Cannes to help launch the movie’s first trailer. Reviews have yet to be released, but films that target children are arguably the most critic-proof, considering kids are more likely to act on instinct, and (hopefully) not based on what someone says on Twitter. “The Emoji Movie” is the first major animated release since “Despicable Me 3” four weeks ago. It carries an estimated budget of $50 million.

Miller is 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.”

Meanwhile, the other newbie, Focus Features and Sierra/Affinity’s “Atomic Blonde,” is aiming for the low $20 millions from 3,300 locations. 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. “Atomic Blonde” was one of the hottest titles to come out of the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival, and currently has mostly positive reviews, or a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Charlize Theron plays a kicka— 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.

With no new superhero movie or big-budget sequel to dominate the weekend, “Dunkirk” remains in the mix. Christopher Nolan’s World War II movie beat out expectations during its opening weekend to earn over $50 million. With a strong hold, the early awards season contender could put up a fight against the newcomers. The first majorly successful comedy of the summer, “Girls Trip,” should also stick around toward the top of the box office charts.

Otherwise, in limited release, look out for Paramount Pictures and Participant Media’s “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” The sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth,” about former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign for global warming awareness, was recently re-edited to including President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Germany's Leonine Buys ‘Dark’ and '4

    German Indie Studio Leonine Buys ‘Dark’ and '4 Blocks' Producer W&B TV

    Leonine has acquired “Dark” producer W&B TV from Endemol Shine. Fledgling German studio Leonine had already bought Wiedemann & Berg Film and established itself as a Munich-based movies, TV, and digital production and distribution group. It has now added the W&B TV unit to its roster. The production company is behind several big German dramas [...]

  • iHuman

    Cinephil Acquires AI-Themed Political Thriller Documentary 'iHuman' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tel Aviv-based Cinephil has acquired worldwide rights to Tonje Hessen Schei’s (“Drone”) “iHuman,” a political thriller documentary about artificial intelligence, power and social control. U.S.-based sales agent ro*co films is representing North America on the film, which will have its world premiere in the Frontlight section of Amsterdam’s International Documentary Film Festival. “iHuman” follows the [...]

  • 'Feast of the Seven Fishes' Review:

    Film Review: 'Feast of the Seven Fishes'

    Early on in “Feast of the Seven Fishes,” two characters debate the optimal way to decorate a house for Christmas. One favors an “understated” approach, with white lights and little more; the other argues that the holidays are no time for subtlety, advocating green, red and gold sparkle as far as the semi-blinded eye can [...]

  • Queen & Slim

    AFI Fest Film Review: 'Queen & Slim'

    Going to the movies can feel a lot like agreeing to a blind date: It’s normal to feel a little wary — but also a bit excited — at the potential before agreeing to spend two hours with characters you don’t know. If the film is any good, it wins you over early on, enough [...]

  • Steven Spielberg Branko Lustig

    'He Left Me Speechless': Steven Spielberg Remembers Branko Lustig

    Steven Spielberg has offered a touching remembrance of Branko Lustig, the Holocaust survivor who produced “Schindler’s List” with Spielberg and Gerald Molen and died Thursday in Croatia. “I was heartbroken to hear of Branko’s passing and my thoughts are with his family and friends,” Spielberg said. “When we first met to discuss ‘Schindler’s List,’ he [...]

  • Dylan Brosnan and Paris BrosnanGolden Globe

    Pierce Brosnan’s Sons Paris and Dylan Brosnan Named 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors

    Pierce Brosnan’s two youngest sons, Paris and Dylan Brosnan, have been named as the 2020 Golden Globe Ambassadors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Thursday evening. Paris and Dylan are also the sons of journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith. The ambassador(s), a title that typically goes to the son or daughter of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content