The Charlize Theron-led Atomic Blonde scored a higher debut at the box office last night than Sony’s The Emoji Movie. The film – which marks the second feature directorial effort from original John Wick co-director, David Leitch – is one of the more notable late entries into this year’s packed summer season. Based on The Coldest City by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart, the film follow Theron’s MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton, who is sent to East Berlin just when the Berlin Wall is about to be torn down, and assigned to track down and apprehend a list of every undercover agent working for the CIA, MI6, and the KGB.
On the flip side, The Emoji Movie takes inspiration from the titular, real-life emoticons common in smartphones nowadays, and imagines what the lives of those Emojis would actually be like. And with a star-studded cast of voice actors – including Patrick Stewart, T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, and more – the film is positioned to be a fairly sizable pull for families and younger moviegoers over the next few weeks.
With both films hitting theaters today in the US as well, the first box office numbers for the films’ respective preview screenings last night are in. THR is reporting that Atomic Blonde managed to beat The Emoji Movie in its preview screenings after raking in a total $1.5 million, significantly higher than the $900,000 that Emoji scored. Additionally, both Atomic Blonde and The Emoji Movie are expected to earn somewhere around $20 – $27 million by the time this weekend comes to a close.
This is a nice win for Atomic Blonde, especially considering how much the film’s R-rating limits its target demographic when compared to The Emoji Movie. The action-thriller was made for $30 million, and if it manages to live up to weekend projects over the next few days, should be able to turn a profit fairly quickly, assuming it maintains a presence amongst moviegoers in the weeks to follow. And if the film does well, that could open up the possibility of future sequels sometime down the road, further focusing on and following Theron’s Broughton through her various, violent spy adventures.
Unlike The Emoji Movie as well, early reviews for Atomic Blonde have been mostly positive up until this point, with many praising Theron’s lead performance and Leitch’s expert direction of the film’s action sequences, even despite the film’s other uneven plot moments and pacing issues. A $20-27 million debut for The Emoji Movie gets the film off to a good start at the box office as well, but the kids film will have to maintain a fair amount of momentum in the US and overseas in order to surpass its $50 million production budget, and be considered a box office success.
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