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Box Office Report

‘The Emoji Movie’ Delivers A Number Two At The Box Office

Critics and online fans may have reviled the movie, but that didn’t prevent American audiences from showing up for Sony Animation’s The Emoji Movie, which opened in the number two position behind Dunkirk.

The film debuted with an estimated $25.7 million from 4,075 theaters, easily topping the launch of Sony’s last animation release, Smurfs: The Lost Village, which opened with $13.2M in April. Emoji could finish its domestic run in the $60-75M range.

Emoji’s performance is respectable, especially considering the strong negative sentiment toward the project from the moment it was first announced. But it should also be noted that Emoji isn’t the box office smash that Sony had likely envisioned when it first greenlit the film. Sony was looking for their version of Lego Movie or Wreck-It Ralph — a broadly appealing and playful film that uses a basic element of popular culture. What they ended up with is the weakest launch ever for an animated film opening in 4,000-plus theaters.

On the other end of the spectrum, Universal’s Despicable Me 3 continued its scorching box office pace and easily topped $800M globally this weekend.

In its 5th U.S. weekend, the film finished in seventh place with $7.7M, lifting its domestic total to $230.4M. But as noted before, the big story with this film is its foreign box office.

Internationally, DM3 added an extra $36.1M this weekend, driving its foreign total up to $588.8M. China leads the offshore markets with $145M, while the film held at no. 1 in Japan for the second weekend in a row ($17.6M total) and no. 1 in Argentina for the fifth weekend in a row ($22.3M total)

Globally, the Illumination-produced movie has earned $819.2M to date, passing Wonder Woman to take the no. 4 spot for 2017’s biggest worldwide grossers.

  • WanderPony

    Even if it DOES make the money Amid mentioned, that doesn’t mean it’ll be a success. Remember, a film needs to make TWICE its budget to be considered a success.

    • Luke

      Plus marketing expenses.

      • Kessek

        The movie markets itself. It’s emojis for Christ’s sake!

        • Luke

          The floor for P&A expenses on a Hollywood movie of this size is around $40 million.

    • Metlow Rovenstein

      Yep. You have to consider shit like marketing costs and the fact that movie theaters take half of the box office ticket sales.

      • Mike

        Also, it’s on its first weekend, it can still drop significantly in the coming weeks.

  • Elsi Pote

    Well, I’d blame banks for giving out credit cards left and right, and the people who gets them, only to use them to pay for whatever they can watch at the multiplex.

  • Ryan Cullen

    Was this a bad movie? Oh, yes. But it certainly was not the end-all bad movie that so many people made it out to be. It’s just yet another crass and commercial Hollywood product made from off the shelf parts from other successful movies. We get those all the time. But, for some reason, this movie caused so many critics to flip out. I found it very mediocre, but not unwatchable. Heck, there’s one point where I actually laughed out loud. It happened when all the Emojis are panicking because they could get deleted, and in the background, you see the Poop Emoji hitting a fan over and over. I also enjoyed the Hotel Transylvania short that played before the movie. As someone who sees around 130 movies at the theater a year (I review for a blog), this was not even the worst movie I’ve seen in recent weeks.

    • WanderPony

      I admittedly laughed at the spam character, and the literal trolls who looked and talked like stereotypical neckbeards.

    • GOATmaybe

      You see I’ve had this conversation with friends and I like hearing different perspectives. This film (Which admittedly I have not seen) looked to be a boring throwaway cash grab that no one will remember. There absolutely are worst films out there. Now here’s my question is a mildly bad film that’s not even memorable better than a film that is down right terrible?

      The Emoji movie looks bad but more so I’d say it looks boring. On the flip side there are several films that I hate with a vengeance but I’ve gone away from them enjoying the process of critiquing them to friends.

      For example I recently watched the entire Iron Fist show and while I think it’s a complete piece of shit I love making fun of it.

      • Ryan Cullen

        I agree completely. As I stated, this is a very generic film made from off the shelf parts of other movies. The plot of the lead emoji characters leaving their home behind to go on a journey, while all the other emojis panic that they and the phone they live in will get deleted (the kid who owns the phone thinks something’s wrong with it when random apps the emojis visit start popping up for no reason) is right out of Wreck-It Ralph’s plot. And there’s a scene where an emoji needs to be rescued from the deleted section of the phone that looks *exactly* like the “forgotten memories” area of the mind that Joy and Bing Bong had to escape from in Inside Out.

        From all the reviews, I honestly was expecting a train wreck along the lines of the infamous Food Fight. All I got was a generic commercial product with little life behind it, outside of the voice acting. (Which admittedly wasn’t bad.) And yes, I did find it a bit dull. Would I have preferred something memorably bad that I could talk about for years? Perhaps. It’s a fine line sometimes.

        • Christopher Anderson

          How is Food Fight even considered to be a “film”?

          • GOATmaybe

            Food Fight is 5 million dollars short of having the same budget as The Emoji Movie. People put 45 million dollars worth of trust into Food Fight.

            I’m not saying this makes it anymore of a film but my god every time someone mentions Food Fight I remember the money they put into it.

    • Doconnor

      So your saying its better then Transformers: The Last Knight?

      • Ryan Cullen

        Seeing as I view the Michael Bay Transformers movies as an insult to the characters I grew up on as a child (one of my fondest movie going memories of my youth was seeing the 1986 animated Transformers movie on opening day with my best friend at the time when I was 9 years old), yes.

        • BlueBoomPony

          I only saw the first one. Whoever designed the bots for the films is largely at fault. I realize the old animated series has the clean, simple designs because complicated animation is more expensive, but the films went about a million miles too far in the other direction. The bots were so complicated with so many little bits I couldn’t even tell who was who sometimes. They had no visual personality other then chaos. I’m sure some talented animators put a lot of hard work into the characters, but they looked like piles of junk.

    • Netko

      I’m sure it wasn’t the worst movie ever put to screen, but its very point of existence is so offensive to the audience’s intelligence and so shamelessly shallow and greedy that it doesn’t deserve even a shred of leeway that these kinds of subpar movies usually get. It’s essentially the studio shooting itself in the foot with an absolutely idiotic premise for a movie, but thinking that everyone will watch it regardless just because they recognize these emojis from the internet. That’s taking the greed a step too far, it’s basically saying “We think you’re just idiots who will watch an hour and a half long pop culture reference, so we won’t even pretend like we’re trying”. I really don’t think a movie like this deserves to have anyone try and look past its money-grabbing premise, and I’m so glad that the audiences put their foot down against this, because you know that after Lego Movie and Angry Birds if this became even a moderate success we’d never see an end to these kinds of ridiculous movie adaptations that have nothing to work from except brand recognition.
      It also doesn’t help that people watched and loved the Lego movie, Inside Out and Wreck-it-Ralph, good movies that make this one feel even more stale, derivative and worse than it already is with its whole underdog plot.

      • Ryan Cullen

        But my question is, why did this one movie in particular cause everyone to flip out? This has been going on for years. Heck, back in the 80s, a large part of the animation industry was just an excuse to sell toys, and same goes for quite a few of the animated features that were put out in that time period. There has been a lot of shamelessly shallow and greedy film projects based on trends or marketing. I just don’t see why THIS was the one that everyone decided to rally against, and act like it was a crime against nature, when Hollywood has been doing this stuff for years.

        When I was growing up in the 80s, there was that awful Mac and Me movie, which stole the plot of E.T., and changed the Reece’s Pieces to McDonald’s and Coke products. It was really just as shameless, if not more so, than this. Every decade seems to have a movie like this. It simply seems to be a lot of overreaction to me over what is yet another piece of sell-out junk.

        • Netko

          The Emoji movie is uncharacteristically greedy and pathetic even by Hollywood standards and I doubt you can argue otherwise. Even the Angry Birds games at the very least had some semblance of characters and more importantly conflict to work with, though even then you could see they were really pushing the audience’s patience with how little story and how much brand recognition they thought they could sell a movie on. The backlash to the Emoji movie is hardly surprising then because emojis have nothing whatsoever that could be made into a story and it is downright comical that they wanted people to watch a whole movie based solely on the fact that they use these emojis when texting. Really, it sounds like a joke, like something you’d make fun of Hollywood with, like “What’s next, a Coca-Cola movie?”. You really can’t find many other movies that sink this low. The problem isn’t that it’s generic or based on something that’s supposed to have mass appeal, the problem is that it’s a movie about something with no story potential whatsoever, like a movie about Coca-Cola, and that’s taking it a step too far.

          In the 80’s animation was pretty much garbage and was aimed solely at kids that didn’t know any better, which you definitely can’t say for animation nowadays that’s regularly breaking 1 billion in box office. The kinds of people watching crappy 20-minute toy commercials were not the same as the ones watching animated movies today. And even then, most of the successful series people remember today were original projects (Transformers, He-Man, Thundercats, Jem), even if they did just want to sell toys of their ideas. The shallowest ones at the time (like the animated MChammer show) I’m sure got the same kind of mockery then as they would today, alas there was no internet then to unite people in their hatred of rubbish entertainment.

          With the Emoji movie, as I mentioned, the mass audiences have seen the movies that this one is clearly copying (making it even more obvious how lazy it is) so they don’t need to use their non-existent imagination and knowledge to imagine what a better movie would be like. Not to mention they were served a generic underdog plot which we can finally say everyone has gotten sick of seeing.

          • Danish

            That doesn’t really answer the question of why Emoji Movie is the tipping point other than grasping at straws with stuff like, “Audiences are different now”.

            I feel like if this movie repulses anyone in 2017, they haven’t been paying attention in the slightest to Hollywood for decades. I doubt this is somehow going to be some tipping point/warning sign of Hollywood. It’ll just be another forgotten about commercial animated movie.

          • Netko

            I gave plenty of answers to why the Emoji Movie is the tipping point, so I’d appreaciate it if you didn’t call it “grasping at straws” without even trying to think of a reason why. The audiences’ standards are different now and that is an undeniable fact. This was specifically an answer to the idea that nobody minded bad overly-commercial entertainment in the 80’s. The fact that very similar and better movies came out recently which this movie is copying despite having a joke-worthy premise and overdone plot is what specifically relates to the Emoji movie. You should re-read my comment because you clearly missed some important points.
            Funny, people keep saying there’s loads of movies with a premise as terrible as the Emoji movie, but no-one I’ve seen say that mentioned even one example of those numerous movies.

          • Ryan Cullen

            I did mention an example earlier, which was Mac and Me, the 1988 family film that was produced by the McDonald’s and Coke corporations, where they pretty much lifted the plot of E.T., and had the alien addicted to the above corporations’ products, instead of Reese’s Pieces.

            Another example of stupidly blatant Hollywood greed would be The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. A movie based on a series of bubble gum cards that had no plot or connecting tissue, and existed solely as gross out parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids. Someone in Hollywood thought this would make a great family film. They were wrong.

            And then of course, there was 1996’s Space Jam, which was a movie inspired by a line of shoe commercials. That one was pretty blatant, I thought.

          • Netko

            You mentioned an example from the 80’s that was relentlessly mocked for how horrible it is. Not really something that gets a pass while the Emoji movie doesn’t. And I would say that one movie that has gained a cult following due to how bad it was isn’t exactly an example of this happening all the time, especially way back in the 80’s with their really blatant commercialism and cheap movies.

            The Garbage Pail Kids had names so I don’t see how they’re different from any standard toy-based movie. That’s still not the same as making a movie with nothing resembling a possible character nor any kind of conflict or backstory. Even Lego movie had those recognizable human-shaped legos that are meant to serve as characters (especially in all those Lego PopularMovie games). With emojis, all you have is a bunch of samey icons signifying different facial expressions. There is nothing there to work with. It’s like if Space Jam used the shoes as characters. Speaking of, Space Jam is pretty straightforward, you’ve got a baketball star=basketball movie+popular cartoon characters with personalities and a history of commercialism. A better premise for a movie than most because the idea behind it was a crossover between Looney Tunes and a real basketball player rather than shoes.

          • Danish

            “The audiences’ standards are different now and that is an undeniable fact.”
            That’s where you’re grasping at straws because outside of your own personal theory of observation, there is no “fact” for that. There are facts for why filmmakers had more freedom back in the 70’s and 80’s. There are facts for why animated features that aren’t Disney can actually do well at the box office now compared to 90’s and anything before that. There are no facts for audience standards. Audiences have gobbled up anything, including high tier films to crass commercials, since the dawn of cinema. Unless you can provide actual proof besides your own personal observation, you’re wrong on that.

        • cartoonguy

          I did not see the Emoji Movie but honestly I don’t see it being much less shameless and “cash grabby” than something like yet another Star Wars movie or another Jurassic Park or another Transformers etc etc… at least the Emoji Movie LOOKED fun.

          I mean – Wreck-It Ralph was pretty lousy. The story was bottom of the barrel and the video game tie-ins were product placement and fan service of the most basic level. The designs were fun, sure, but… so were the Emoji designs.

          I think the hate just turned into a bandwagon that people enjoyed jumping upon.

  • Luke

    This is what Sony deserves for cancelling Genndy’s “Popeye”. Hip and edgy didn’t work out too well for them, did it?

    • Kessek

      Did you even read the article?

      • Netko

        It’s not exactly proving to be a hit, it seems like Sony will be lucky if they break even. So yeah, I would say that counts as “not working out for them”.

  • Mill MitMan

    Soon this movie will get a sequel and a TV show.

  • Michel Van

    “The Emoji Movie” is on number two on the Box office
    so what ?
    it only made $24 million on opening Weekend
    of production cost of $50 Million, plus Marketing cost

    if Sony is lucky they get even next weekend
    Or they bomb like Luc Besson “Valerian” movie.

  • You cancel POPEYE for this ??

    You have one of the best animation directors in this century? (Genndy Tartakovsky)
    and cancel his projects? for emoji?

    Karma is paying you hard!
    ok back to my coffee ….. ;)

  • Inkan1969

    The numbers indicate that “The Emoji Movie” was front loaded on Friday. So I expect it to nosedive over the next few weeks.

    BTW: Alternative to the wide releases, I’ve noticed a lot of limited releases lately. Either the multiweek distribution that GKids does, or one-night special event wide releases like what we get from Fathom Events. I try to keep up by going to these sites








    In just the most recent and upcoming weeks:

    Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ – 7/12-13

    The Girl Without Hands – since 7/23, still opening

    The Ancient Magus’s Bride – 7/26
    (actually, the first three episodes of a TV anime)

    The Irregular at Magic High School, the Movie: The Girl who Summons the Stars – 7/28-730

    In this Corner of the World – starting on 8/11

    Mune: Guardian of the Moon – 8/12

    Batman and Harley Quinn – 8/14

    Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry – 8/14, 16, 19

    Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars – 8/21

    Spacepop – 9/16
    (actually a few episodes from an Internet series)

    Pokemon, the Movie: I Choose You – 11/5-6

    Plus GKids’ Ghibli movie festival, which I think they do annually now. And there’s even a revival of “Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliosotro”. This is all in addition to the limited moves we’ve already had:

    The Red Turtle (nominal 2016 release)
    My Life as a Zucchini (nominal 2016 release)
    Your Name (nominal 2016 release)
    My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
    One Piece Film: Gold
    Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
    the first two animated “Attack on Titan” movies
    Kikoriki: The Legend of the Golden Dragon
    Yu-Gi-Oh: the Dark Side of Dimensions
    Resident Evil: Vendetta
    Ocean Waves (revival)
    Sailor Moon R: the Movie (revival)
    the original “Ghost in the Shell” (revival)

    I don’t know if I’m just paying more attention or if there really is an increase of theatrical releases of non-mainstream animated movies.

  • LarryBundyJr

    Idiocrasy is coming true!!!