“The Emoji Movie” survived negative reviews but couldn’t conquer “Dunkirk,” which had enough fight left to top 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.
Also holding on quite well is Universal Pictures R-rated comedy “Girls Trip,” which fell a miniscule 36 percent from its debut weekend to take third place with $20.1 million.
Even in weekend two, “Girls Trip” beat out the splashy new Charlize Theron actioner “Atomic Blonde,” distributed by Universal’s boutique label Focus Features. “Atomic Blonde” opened in fourth with $18.6 million.
“We think it’s a really solid opening for the movie and think that the film is going to have a nice long life at the box office for the summer,” said Lisa Bunnell, president of distribution for Focus Features.
Theron produced and stars in the film about a British spy on a mission in Berlin near the end of the Cold War. It cost an estimated $30 million to produce. While reviews were generally positive, audiences gave the film a…