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‘Dunkirk’ marches ahead while ‘Emoji’ defies critics

Aug 01,2017
LOS ANGELES - “The Emoji Movie” survived negative reviews but couldn’t conquer “Dunkirk,” which had enough fight left to conquer the box office for a second weekend in a row.

Down only 44 percent from its first weekend, director Christopher Nolan’s World War II film earned $28.1 million to take first place, according to studio estimates on Sunday. “Dunkirk” has grossed $102.8 million domestically to date.

Sony Pictures Animation’s “The Emoji Movie” finished second with $25.7 million. The film, featuring the voices of T.J. Miller and Anna Faris as anthropomorphized emojis, got pummeled by critics. It’s currently resting at a dismal 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences still turned out.

“It’s great when the critics and audiences are in sync but in the end it comes down to: Has the film reached the intended audience?” said Adrian Smith, Sony’s president of domestic distribution. “Seeing these results, it clearly has.”

Sony is expecting the film, which cost an estimated $50 million to produce, to play well for the rest of the summer.

The divide between reviews and a film’s success has been a continuing topic this summer, as some films, such as “Baywatch,” capsized under poor reviews, and others like “The Emoji Movie” seemed immune.

“Kids don’t care about reviews, and there is a severe lack of family films in the marketplace,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for comScore.

But “The Emoji Movie” also fell at the box office throughout the weekend after a strong Friday when it placed No. 1, which Dergarabedian thinks could be due to negative word of mouth on social media. By contrast, the extremely well-reviewed “Dunkirk” rose throughout the weekend.

In fifth place was “Spider-Man: Homecoming” now in its fourth weekend in theater. The new web-slinger added $13.5 million which bumped its domestic total to $278.4 million. The movie has now passed both “Amazing Spider-Man” movies at the North American box office, although it is still lagging behind the Tobey Maguire films. AP



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