It was a tense race between the top two at the domestic box office but in the end Dunkirk put a sad face on The Emoji Movie’s opening run. This weekend’s biggest story comes however from the Far East, where Wolf Warrior II opened to a stunning $140 million in China.
This action movie from director Wu Jing stars Frank Grillo and centers on a desperate Special Ops mission to save a group of hostages from a rogue Chinese bandit who’s holding them somewhere in Africa. It’s the second biggest Middle Kingdom opener of the year, thanks in part to the traditional July foreign film embargo. 2015’s Wolf Warrior by comparison made $89 million in its entire run.
Meanwhile back in the US Christopher Nolan’s massive World War 2 spectacle Dunkirk took $28.1 million on its return frame, dropping 44% from opening weekend. Twenty-two percent of the film’s stateside revenue came from Imax theaters, where the premium 70mm film stock that much of the movie was shot on can be best appreciated. Audiences have skewed pretty heavily male at 65%. Dunkirk’s domestic cume so far is $102 million. Overseas numbers held strong as well, closing the frame at $45 million from 63 territories, with a dip of just 36% across the board. First among its foreign holdings is its creative home market the UK. There it made $10.9 million, dropping just 16% from its opening frame and reaching a $35.4 million local cume. In South Korea, where Nolan’s films have millions of devoted fans, Dunkirk reached $16.7 million. Australia and France are both up to $9.8 million, and the total global take so far is $234 million. It drops Italy on August 31 and China on the first of September.
Sony execs were all smiles after their abysmally reviewed Emoji movie ended its US debut with $25.6 million. They made the film, which is about a gaggle of emoticons living in a digital city in a boy’s cell phone, for just $50 million. T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Farris, Christina Aguilera and Sir Patrick Stewart star. General audiences gave it a B Cinemascore but it seems to have been saved by the A- grade that it earned with under 18s. International dates start next week and continue into mid October.
Still on the domestic table Focus Features’ Atomic Blonde opened in fourth with $18.4 million. Charlize Theron and James McAvoy star in this spy thriller set in 1980s Berlin, with smaller roles played by John Goodman and Bill Skarsgard. Theron’s character plays a top British spy who’s caught in the middle of a deadly fiasco after a register of agents behind the Iron Curtain is stolen by KGB operatives. John Wick and upcoming Deadpool 2 boss David Leitch directs. Eleven foreign territories led by Russia netted $5.9 million, taking the global cume to $24.5 million.
On the specialty market Al Gore’s environmental collapse doc An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power made $130k from four New York and LA theatres. Next weekend it will be in 100 theatres. Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, about a group of black youths taken hostage and executed by trigger-happy and racist cops during the city’s 1967 riots, also opened this weekend. It made $365k from 20 theatres and will trickle into wide release over the next month.
Next weekend we’ll see The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s chilling horror series and starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.