Charlize Theron’s action pic ‘Atomic Blonde’ is also opening nationwide.
A potentially close race is shaping up at the North American box office, where new family animated film The Emoji Movie is battling Dunkirk for the No. 1 spot, according to early returns.
The Emoji Movie, from Sony Animated Pictures, is projected to earn $9 million-$10 million on Friday, including $900,000 in Thursday previews, for a weekend take of $26 million-$27 million despite withering reviews.
Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros.’ World War II drama Dunkirk is expected to gross $8 million on its second Friday for a weekend haul of $26 million-$27 million. Box-office observers caution that the numbers could shift.
The Emoji Movie, based on the popular symbols used in text messages, centers on Gene (T.J. Miller) who, unlike the other inhabitants of Textpolis, has multiple expressions. Determined to be normal, he and his friends embark on an adventure to locate the code that will fix him, only to find themselves in a race to save the world.
The ensemble voice cast includes James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Jake T. Austin, Christina Aguilera, Sofia Vergara and Patrick Stewart. Emoji Movie cost $50 million to produce.
This weekend’s other new nationwdie release is Charlize Theron’s action pic Atomic Blonde, from Universal specialty label Focus Features and Sierra/Affinity. The film, following an MI6 spy during the final days of the Berlin Wall, kicked into gear with $1.5 million in Thursday previews.
Atomic Blonde is expected to earn $7 million-$8 million on Friday for a weekend debut in the $18 million-$20 million range.
David Leitch (John Wick) directed the film, which is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City. In addition to Theron, Atomic Blonde also stars James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones.
There is also major action on the specialty front as both Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit and Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power open in select theaters a week ahead of their nationwide debuts.
Detroit — the first release from Annapurna Pictures, director Megan Ellison’s new indie studio — is rolling out in 20 theaters in 20 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The period crime drama recounts the riot of 50 years ago in the titular city that left seven black men and two white women dead.
Bigelow reteamed with her Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal on Detroit. In recent days, Annapurna decided to first open the movie in select theaters after a successful screening program. The pic stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, John Krasinski and Anthony Mackie.
Paramount and Participant Media is debuting An Inconvenient Sequel in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk directed the doc, which opens 11 years after An Inconvenient Truth, likewise steered by Gore, hit theaters. In hopes of luring younger moviegoers, Snapchat is partnering with Paramount and Participant to offer free tickets to consumers 18 and younger.