Box Office Prediction: Atomic Blonde vs. The Emoji Movie

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Dunkirk's opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of July 21 - 23, 2017.

This weekend, Atomic Blonde opens in 3,304 theaters and The Emoji Movie debuts in 4,075 locations.

#1 - Dunkirk

Look for last week's champ, Dunkirk (read our review), to finish in first again during its second weekend. Christopher Nolan's World War II drama exceeded commercial expectations in its opening frame, pulling in $50.5 million for its first three days. The film was able to accomplish this thanks to its enthusiastic word-of-mouth, with many critics hailing it as one of the best films of 2017 (and Nolan's career overall). It is an experience that demands to be seen on the big screen, so both casual audiences and die-hard Nolan fans will want to see what all the buzz is about - meaning Dunkirk should hold very well. There's also been some (incredibly) early Oscars talk surrounding the project, which will only help its prospects moving forward.

Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy in Dunkirk

#2 - The Emoji Movie

Our pick for second is The Emoji Movie (read our review), which is a new animated film from Sony Pictures. As the title suggests, it tells a story that revolves around the popular emoji icons that are in the texting app on our smartphones - trying to replicate the success of The LEGO Movie. Unfortunately, Emoji has been widely panned by critics, with many calling it a cynical cash grab that offers little of value. That certainly will not give it a boost; word-of-mouth was a key aspect of LEGO being a success a few years back. There will be those who see Emoji out of morbid curiosity, but that won't be enough to catapult it to the top spot.

The lone element that favors Emoji is the fact that the marketplace for the juice box crowd is quite barren. Despicable Me 3 opened about a month ago, and while it did fairly well, it was not as large a hit as some of its predecessors. As such, there could be a demand for something new in the family demographic, especially since there aren't many similar projects on the horizon. Parents may not totally be up for a trip to see the adventures of Meh, but they don't really have much of a choice. Tracking indicates an opening weekend of $26.9 million.

#3 - Atomic Blonde

Coming in third should be Atomic Blonde (read our review), the latest action vehicle for Charlize Theron. The actress has quickly emerged as a fan-favorite in the genre, stealing the show in hit Mad Max: Fury Road ($154 million) a couple years ago. She's also coming off an appearance in The Fate of the Furious, which brought in $225.7 million domestically. Because of the involvement of director David Leitch (one of the helmsmen of John Wick), Atomic Blonde has drawn several comparisons to the Keanu Reeves franchise, with the trailers teasing several hard-hitting set pieces. The Wick series has been quite commercially successful, with this year's Chapter 2 bringing in $92 million in February.

Atomic Blonde should be able to land in the same ballpark as the original John Wick, which made $14.4 million in its debut back in 2014. The reaction to Blonde, while not overly enthusiastic, is on the positive side of the spectrum, encouraging genre fans it's a ride worth taking. Thanks to its stylish aesthetic and Theron's performance, Atomic Blonde has enough going for it to make it a success. Projections have it pegged for an opening weekend of around $21 million.

Sofia Boutella and Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde

#4 - Girls Trip

We expect Girls Trip to come in fourth. The comedy made $31.2 million, riding the waves of positive buzz it had thanks to positive reviews. With some high-profile new arrivals opening in theaters, the comedy could take a bit of a hit financially in its second weekend. That being said, fans of the genre have limited options right now, so those looking for a laugh or two will find Girls Trip appealing as refreshing counter-programming from the typical summer fare.

#5 - Spider-Man: Homecoming

Rounding out the top five should be Spider-Man: Homecoming (read our review). Marvel's latest keeps chugging along since it opened earlier in July, making $264.9 million domestically in its run. It should be able to hang around the top of the charts for at least another week, as it's seen as one of the better movies of the summer.

Last Week's Recap

Our Picks:

  • Dunkirk
  • Girls Trip
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Valerian


  • Dunkirk
  • Girls Trip
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Valerian

Next Week: Detroit, The Dark Tower, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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