Last week, I honestly worried that I would be writing that The Emoji Movie would be #1 at the box office this weekend, because that’s where I think we are now: a stupid movie about emojis should be #1 in America. But it wasn’t. It was #2 in the weekend box office, which was actually the debut of The Emoji Movie and the second week for Dunkirk. Dunkirk once again took the #1 slot, making more than $28 million in North America in its second week, compared to The Emoji Movie’s $25 million-plus opening. So, a lot of people wanted to pay full-price to see a really stupid, badly-reviewed movie about emojis. Still doesn’t bode well for America. Girls Trip – which CB loved – made it to #3 at the box office with $20.1 million.
Thankfully, there was another piece of good news: Atomic Blonde came in fourth place at the box office in its opening weekend. I worried about the late-July release and I worried that the reviews weren’t lavishly praising the film (most critics liked it and it did have a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). The film took in $18.6 million, which is pretty good considering the film was made on a $30 million budget.
All of which to say… I had the choice of going to see Dunkirk or going to see Atomic Blonde, and I chose Atomic Blonde because I love a good spy story and I love James McAvoy. I wasn’t disappointed at all – it was a really great movie! Very violent, and some of the fight scenes were rough to watch because of the naturalistic way they were shot. Charlize really looked like she was getting the dog snot beaten out of her in more than a few scenes. Also: Charlize deserves all the praise she’s getting for Atomic Blonde, not just her acting (which is stellar), but also for producing it and shepherding this project through a multi-year ordeal to get made. While the budget is small by Hollywood standards, the film looks very expensive. It looked like a James Bond film, honestly, and the current Bond films are being made for like $300 million, not $30 million. Charlize gave a stand-out performance but I know she won’t get any awards nominations for it, because the film is too violent and most of her performance was her physical work, and doing her own stunts.
I’d also like to make special note of the completely ‘80s soundtrack: IT ROCKED. It was amazing and added so much to the film (which is set in 1989). The only bad thing I have to say about it was that the dialogue left a little to be desired. I realize that the characters were drawn to be purposefully cryptic, but good God. All in all though: I recommend this film. I hope it continues to do well on word-of-mouth because it deserves to make some money. It’s smarter than the usual summer fare and Charlize & McAvoy really are that good in it.
Photos courtesy of ‘Atomic Blonde’/IMDB.