×

Box Office: ‘Dark Tower,’ ‘Detroit,’ ‘Kidnap’ Signal End-of-Summer Slump

After last weekend, the summer domestic box office was down more than 8% from last year, and 1.3% behind 2016 for the year so far. Well, it gets worse.

This time last year “Suicide Squad” overcame a critical thrashing to break August records with a $133.7 million domestic opening. One year later, several mid-budgeted offerings don’t look to make such a splash.

Starting with Columbia Pictures and MRC’s “The Dark Tower,” which is poised to take in about $20 million to $25 million during its opening frame at 3,449 locations. The studio is being slightly more conservative with $19 million. It’s the widest new release of the weekend, from a film that cost $60 million to make. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in the adaptation from Stephen King’s series of novels. The action film, bridging multiple genres, centers on a boy (played by Tom Taylor) who discovers another dimension where he aligns himself with a Gunslinger (Elba) who is on a mission to save the world from various enemies, including the Man in Black (McConaughey). Reviews for the film are expected to drop on Wednesday evening, imposing a tight window between the critical consensus and the movie’s debut.

Meanwhile, Annapurna’s “Detroit” is aiming in the $10 million to $15 million range from 2,800 locations. That’s after picking up $365,455 last weekend from 20 locations. While it’s by no means a massive opening, Annapurna sees the film uniquely positioned to stand out in the marketplace in the coming weeks. Also, considering its makers — Kathryn Bigelow and her “Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” collaborator Mark Boal — an awards-season push could end up helping its bottom line as well. So far, critics are on board, earning the tale of the Motor City’s 1967 riots a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is toplined by “Star Wars” breakout John Boyega, Will Poulter, and Algee Smith.

And finally, in the wide release category, “Kidnap” looks to chase down about $8 million. The Halle Berry-led action-thriller was originally slated for a 2015 release from Relativity, and was delayed several times until the company went under and lost the rights. “Kidnap” was then rescued by a new independent company Aviron, run by David Dinerstein. The distributor declined to say how much they acquired it for. But single digits can’t be considered a welcome start. With echoes of Liam Neeson, the film centers on Berry, who plays a mother attempting to rescue her son after he is kidnapped.

On the limited release side, Paramount Pictures and Participant Media’s “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” is expanding to 180 locations in its second frame. Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River” starring part-time “Avengers” Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen is hitting a handful of theaters courtesy of TWC. And “Columbus” — an indie drama written and directed by Kogonada and starring John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, and Parker Posey — is being self-distributed by the filmmakers with the aid of Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship.

As was the case last weekend with “The Emoji Movie” and “Atomic Blonde,” many of the releases are expected to perform well enough for their budgets, but won’t serve as the zap the summer box office desperately needs.

More Film

  • Amazon Developing Original Series Based on

    Amazon Studios Buys 'Selah and the Spades,' Will Develop Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a gripping look at a prep school drug dealer, Variety has learned. The film marks the feature debut of writer and director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was a favorite with critics. Amazon has [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • The Wound African Cinema Berlin Film

    Finance Forum Brings African WIP Into Focus at Durban FilmMart

    The 10th edition of the Durban FilmMart, which unspools parallel to the 40th Durban Intl. Film Festival, will feature 10 fiction and 10 documentary works-in-progress taking part in its annual Finance Forum. The leading co-production market on the continent, the Forum brings together producers, distributors, sales agents, broadcasters, funding bodies, and other industry players from across the [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Looks to Roar Life Into Domestic Box Office

    Hollywood just can’t wait for “The Lion King” to hit theaters. That’s because Disney’s highly anticipated remake is expected to draw herds of moviegoers at a time when ticket sales are seriously struggling. Box office watchers predict that the studio’s grand return to the Pride Lands could become one of this year’s biggest hits. “The [...]

  • Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky

    Sarah Wright Takes Charge of Sky Cinema After Management Shuffle

    Sarah Wright, Sky’s top acquisitions exec, will take on responsibility for Sky Cinema after a management shuffle at the pay-TV giant. Wright fills a role vacated by Ian Lewis, who recently left Sky after 20 years. He was one of several Sky staffers to leave after its takeover by Comcast. As director of Sky Cinema [...]

  • Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer

    Jodi Long Running for SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer on Matthew Modine Slate

    Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United [...]

  • Toni Monty

    Durban FilmMart Head Toni Monty: ‘Africa Has Its Own Story to Tell’

    The Durban Film Festival’s industry program, the Durban FilmMart, celebrates its 10th anniversary as the leading confab for filmmakers from across the continent, with a lively program of panel discussions, seminars and workshops unspooling from July 19-22 in this sunny seaside city. In addition, 10 fiction and 10 documentary works-in-progress have been selected for the DFM’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content