Will ‘Dunkirk’ Stay Afloat Against ‘Atomic Blonde,’ ‘Emoji Movie’ at Box Office This Weekend?

Longevity of Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic gets first test as Focus Features and Sony enter with new releases

atomic blonde emoji movie box office

After beating tracker expectations with a $50.5 million opening, “Dunkirk” will try to continue Christopher Nolan’s success in holdover weekends as Focus Features’ spy flick “Atomic Blonde” and Columbia/Sony Animation’s “The Emoji Movie” enter theaters to close out July.

As was the case with “Girls Trip” and “Valerian” last weekend, “Dunkirk” will be competing against films with different primary demographics, so it will likely come down to how well “Dunkirk” can keep drawing older audiences while “Emoji Movie” targets kids enjoying summer break and “Atomic Blonde” aims for 18 to 34 audiences, both male and female.

If “Dunkirk” keeps its drop-off in between 50 percent and 60 percent — something that, incidentally, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “War for the Planet of the Apes” were unable to do in their second frame — it will be right in the range independent trackers have set for both new releases. “Atomic Blonde” is currently tracking at roughly $20 million, give or take, for its opening weekend from 3,300 screens, while “Emoji Movie” tracking is much more scattershot. The animated movie is looking to land atop $20 million, and will have beat most predictions if it cracks $30 million from 4,069 screens. Studios for both films are projecting $20 million.

Like last month’s thrifty action hit, “Baby Driver,” “Atomic Blonde” is trying to build off its strong reviews from its SXSW premiere and the reputation of its lead star, Charlize Theron, as one of the top action stars in Hollywood, following her show-stopping performances in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “The Fate of the Furious.” Focus is heavily promoting Theron with a pull quote hailing her as a “female 007,” but when it comes to the numbers, a better comparison would be another dark, stylized shoot-em-up: 2014’s “John Wick.”

Three years ago, “John Wick,” which was co-directed by “Blonde” filmmaker David Leitch, rode strong word of mouth to a $14 million opening and a $43 million domestic cume against a $20 million budget. “Atomic Blonde,” with its $30 million budget, is aiming for a slightly higher number than that, and Theron could easily provide it. With “Wonder Woman” reigning as the movie of the summer and sci-fi fans abuzz about Jodie Whitaker becoming the first female Doctor on “Doctor Who,” the thirst to see women in gung-ho roles is stronger than ever. Theron contributed to that momentum with “Fury Road, and she could continue it here.

“The Emoji Movie” has a somewhat bigger price tag for Columbia Pictures, with a reported $50 million budget. This film ended up in Sony’s hands after an aggressive bidding war for its pitch two years ago between Sony Animation, Warner Bros., and Paramount. With Open Road’s “The Nut Job 2” serving as the only wide family release in August, Sony will be looking to have kids’ attention during the final weeks of summer break. The film’s overseas release starts next weekend with openings in Mexico and the U.K.

Based on the novel “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart, “Atomic Blonde” stars Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton, a MI6 agent sent to Berlin on the eve of German unification in 1989 to eliminate an agent-hunting espionage ring. Joining her is David Percival (James McAvoy), an MI6 station chief who forms a tenuous alliance with Broughton as bullets quickly start flying.

David Leitch directed this film from a screenplay by Kurt Johnstad. The film also stars John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Bill Skarsgard, and Sofia Boutella. Sierra/Affinity produced and financed the film, with Theron, Beth Kong, A.J. Dix, Kelly McCormick, Eric Gitter, and Peter Schwerin serving as producers. “Atomic Blonde” currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 79 percent.

“The Emoji Movie” stars T.J. Miller as Gene, an emoji who lives inside a teenager’s cellphone where emojis have jobs expressing a single emotion for their users. But when Gene realizes that he can’t do his job because he can express multiple emotions, he leaves his phone to try to become like everyone else. Anthony Leondis directed the film and co-wrote the script with Eric Siegel and Mike White, with Michelle Raimo Kouyate producing.The cast also includes James Corden, Ilana Glazer, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Stewart, and Maya Rudolph.