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LOS ANGELES — "The Emoji Movie" survived negative reviews but couldn't conquer "Dunkirk," which had enough fight left to prevail at the box office for the second weekend in a row.
"Dunkirk," director Christopher Nolan's World War II film, was down by only 44 percent from its first weekend, earning $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, which featured 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, while others, such as "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 the result of negative word of mouth on social media. By contrast, the extremely well-reviewed "Dunkirk" rose throughout the weekend.
Also holding on quite well was 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.
(Universal and Focus are divisions of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)
"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 middling B CinemaScore, which could affect its word-of-mouth potential.
In fifth place was "Spider-Man: Homecoming," now in its fourth weekend in theaters. The new web-slinger added $13.5 million, which bumped its domestic total to $278.4 million.
"Homecoming" has passed both "Amazing Spider-Man" movies at the North American box office, although it is still lagging significantly behind the Tobey Maguire "Spider-Man" films.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
- "Dunkirk," $28.1 million ($45.6 million international).
- "The Emoji Movie," $25.7 million.
- "Girls Trip," $20.1 million ($2 million international).
- "Atomic Blonde," $18.6 million ($3 million international).
- "Spider-Man: Homecoming: $13.5 million ($19.7 million international).
- "War for the Planet of the Apes," $10.4 million ($20.5 million international).
- "Despicable Me 3," $7.7 million ($36.1 million international).
- "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," $6.8 million ($13.7 million international).
- "Baby Driver," $4.1 million ($8.4 million international).
- "Wonder Woman," $3.5 million.