Long Range Forecast: ‘Atomic Blonde’ & ‘The Emoji Movie’

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This week’s edition of the Long Range Forecast welcomes two new additions to the wide release calendar. Our initial analysis and projections:

Atomic Blonde
Focus Features

PROS:

  • Charlize Theron’s stock as an action star has skyrocketed thanks to popular turns in the widely successful Mad Max: Fury Road and The Fate of the Furious. She could help this film transcend the usual male-heavy audience of similar genre flicks.
  • Similarly, James McAvoy’s popularity and appeal are also positive factors following his acclaimed performance in Split earlier this year, on top of his fan-favorite take on young Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise.
  • Hailing from the director (David Leitch) of John Wick and the upcoming Deadpool 2, genre fans may take notable interest in this actioner.
  • The film’s marketing and trailer campaign have been strong thus far, eliciting the kind of frenetic popcorn action that helped make the John Wick films successful. The desire and need for original summer movies could also play into potential success.

CONS:

  • We’d like to see more growth on Facebook and Twitter, but as an original film, there’s still plenty of time for that to occur over the summer.
  • Initial reviews from festival screenings are generally positive with a 76 percent Rotten Tomatoes score from 17 critics, but a larger sample size will help validate what to expect from general audience reception.
  • The film opens at the end of a very busy July, particularly for target adult audiences. The holding power of films like Dunkirk and War for the Planet of the Apes could be important to deciding the eventual results of this film — however, with a $30 million production budget, it certainly doesn’t *need* to become a blockbuster to be a hit. Staying power may be the name of the game if reception is strong.

The Emoji Movie
Sony / Columbia

PROS:

  • The ubiquitous existence of emojis in every day life for audiences of almost every age gives this some pedigree of brand familiarity and interest, perhaps not unlike The Angry Birds Movie.
  • Opening four weeks after Despicable Me 3 — and only facing The Nut Job 2 as direct competition until late September — should help the film find a sizable family audience.
  • The film’s voice cast of well-known comedic actors like Patrick Stewart, Anna Faris, James Corden, T.J. Miller, Maya Rudolph, and Rob Riggle, could also help convince parents and teens to give the film a try.

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, the premise of a movie about emojis has become the butt of numerous jokes — some in a positive way, and others not so much. Then again, expectations were mixed for the likes of Angry Birds and The LEGO Movie, so we’re not counting out the possibility this proves to be more appealing to teens and potentially some older crowds than it initially appears to be.
  • Social media buzz is lukewarm at this stage. A strong marketing campaign and positive reviews could improve it by the time July 28 rolls around.
  • Although there’s a fair amount of time between this film and other high profile animated films, it will still be the fourth animated release of the summer. Parents can only spend so much on the genre within in a short time frame, especially with The LEGO Ninjago Movie coming in late September.

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • With what we believe is the imminent breakout status of Wonder Woman, we’re continuing to lower expectations for The Mummy next weekend as the latter film continues to show middling signs of buzz.
  • Megan Leavey‘s theater count remains unconfirmed for next week. As such, we’re lowering expectations until more information is available. Positive early reviews could help grassroots word of mouth, though.
  • It Comes at Night continues to be a wild card. Strong reviews and counter-programming potential remain big advantages, but A24’s limited experience in marketing wide summer releases has skewed usual tracking methods.
  • A strong trailer campaign and solid social media presence are proving encouraging for Cars 3‘s potential.

Check out our complete 8-week forecast in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
6/9/2017 It Comes At Night $11,500,000 -8% $33,500,000 -18% 2,500 A24
6/9/2017 Megan Leavey $4,000,000 -11% $12,500,000 -11% 1,000 Bleecker Street
6/9/2017 The Mummy (2017) $39,000,000 -11% $100,000,000 -12% 4,000 Universal
6/16/2017 47 Meters Down n/a n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
6/16/2017 All Eyez On Me $18,000,000 $49,000,000 2,500 Lionsgate / Summit
6/16/2017 Cars 3 $56,000,000 14% $206,000,000 14% 4,000 Disney / Pixar
6/16/2017 Rough Night $25,000,000 $80,000,000 3,200 Sony
6/21/2017 Transformers: The Last Knight $70,000,000 $187,000,000 -9% Paramount
6/28/2017 Baby Driver $15,000,000 $50,000,000 Sony / TriStar
6/30/2017 Amityville: The Awakening $8,500,000 $18,000,000 TWC / Dimension
6/30/2017 Despicable Me 3 $75,000,000 $270,000,000 Universal / Illumination
6/30/2017 The House (2017) $26,000,000 $95,000,000 Warner Bros. / New Line
7/7/2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming $135,000,000 $325,000,000 Sony / Columbia
7/14/2017 The Big Sick n/a n/a Lionsgate
7/14/2017 War for the Planet of the Apes $54,000,000 $150,000,000 Fox
7/14/2017 Wish Upon $11,000,000 $25,500,000 Broad Green Pictures
7/21/2017 Dunkirk $60,000,000 $240,000,000 Warner Bros.
7/21/2017 Girls Trip $17,000,000 $60,000,000 Universal
7/21/2017 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets $24,000,000 $70,000,000 STX Entertainment
7/28/2017 Atomic Blonde $27,500,000 NEW $82,500,000 NEW Focus Features
7/28/2017 The Emoji Movie: Express Yourself $27,000,000 NEW $95,000,000 NEW Sony / Columbia

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.