In this weekend's box-office battle, Sony's newcomer "The Emoji Movie" was no competition for Warner Bros.' "Dunkirk."
Christopher Nolan's World War II drama took first place for a second week with an estimated $28.1 million in the U.S. and Canada, beating analyst expectations of $25 million. "Dunkirk" grosses have been bolstered by powerful reviews and widespread interest in Nolan's rendering of the mission to rescue Allied soldiers from a French beach as Nazi forces close in. The film has grossed $102.8 domestically to date, plus more than $131 million overseas.
"The Emoji Movie" came in second in its first week with $25.7 million, meeting analyst projections of $25 million to $30 million and surpassing the studio's expectations of $20 million.
"We couldn't be happier about the start for a film that has a really bold concept," said Adrian Smith, the studio's distribution chief. "It hit its target audience."
The computer-generated comedy stars former "Silicon Valley" star T.J. Miller as a "meh"-faced emoji with no filter. The film takes place in an app-filled world where emojis — including Patrick Stewart as the voice of Poop — wait to be used in humans' text messages. James Corden, Anna Faris and Maya Rudolph also voice characters.
Audiences and critics diverged in their reception of the film. Moviegoers (50% younger than 18, and 52% female) gave the picture a B grade from CinemaScore (A-minus from the target audience of under 18). That compared with a poor 8% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
"The Emoji Movie" cost about $50 million before marketing, according to people close to the studio.
Coming in third place was Universal's R-rated comedy "Girls Trip." In its second week, the flick starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish pulled $20.1 million. It has grossed $65.6 million domestically to date.
Focus Features' "Atomic Blonde" debuted in fourth place with $18.6 million, slightly below analyst projections of $20 million.
The decidedly R-rated action thriller starring Charlize Theron as a highly skilled and lethal spy was met with raves when it debuted at the South by Southwest film festival in March. Now the film's wide release is testing audiences' appetite for the stylish picture that's billed as a female twist on James Bond and John Wick movies.
And audiences seem pleased, giving the picture a B CinemaScore. Critics have also generally favored the Sierra/Affinity-financed film, as it has a 75% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Rounding out this week's top five was Sony's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," with $13.5 million in its fourth week. With Tom Holland as its star, it's pulled in $278.4 million domestically to date, plus more than $355 million overseas.
On the limited-release front, Paramount debuted "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power," the follow-up to the Oscar-winning 2006 documentary about global warming, starring former Vice President Al Gore and produced by Participant Media. From only four screens, it pulled $130,000 for a per-screen average of $32,500.
Annapurna Pictures released its first picture, "Detroit," this weekend on 20 screens to $365,455 in ticket sales. That's a per-theater average of $18,273. The film directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") tells the true tale of an intense period of civil unrest that hit the city in 1967 and stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith and Anthony Mackie.
A24's "Menashe," a look at the secretive Hasidic community of Brooklyn, grossed $61,409 on just three screens for a strong $20,470 average — one of the top opening weekends for a foreign-language film this year.
Next week, Sony releases "The Dark Tower" starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, and Aviron releases its Halle Berry-led thriller "Kidnap." Also, Fox Searchlight will release the documentary "Step" limitedly.
9:30 a.m.: This article was updated with limited-release figures.