Famous director Christopher Nolan’s bet he could make a movie about World War II paid off. It has brought in $69 million in domestic ticket sales through Wednesday. Critics have named it one of the best pictures of the year. The competition for the top spot this weekend is not inconsequential. “Dunkirk” is up against a quirky movie, the animated “The Emoji Movie.”
Emojis are the weird smiles and other symbols people can send to one another over cell phones. They are tiny messages that people believe express their sentiments better than words. Whether or not that is true, hundreds of millions of people use them. That alone gives the movie appeal.
One advantage “Dunkirk” has is that “The Emoji Movie” has not gotten good reviews. And consumers do not like it either. It has gotten a score of 46 out of 100 at Rotten Tomatoes. “Dunkirk” has a score of 93.
IMDb describes the new movie this way:
Hidden inside a smartphone, the bustling city of Textopolis is home to all emojis. Each emoji has only one facial expression, except for Gene, an exuberant emoji with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his best friend Hi-5 and a notorious code breaker called Jailbreak. During their travels through the other apps, the three emojis discover a great danger that could threaten their phone’s very existence.
That does not measure up to what many consider to be the best war movie in history, directed by one of the cinema’s most celebrated directors. Nevertheless, “The Emoji Movie” has been handicapped as a potential number one. According to Box Office Mojo:
Not since Wonder Woman seven weeks ago has a film repeat atop the weekend box office. This weekend, Dunkirk is looking to do just that. Christopher Nolan’s war drama faces incoming challenges in the form of Sony’s animated feature The Emoji Movie and Focus’s actioner Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron. Both Sony and Focus are anticipating openings around $20 million for their new releases, which wouldn’t likely be enough to top Dunkirk’s sophomore session, though both could over perform against those expectations making this a weekend to watch closely.
Incidentally, any movie with Charlize Theron as the star has a chance to “over perform.” The same cannot be said for emojis.