As the dog days of summer drag on, a trio of wide releases are kicking off the August box office with a whimper.
The weekend’s leader is “The Dark Tower.” Sony and MRC’s long-time-coming Stephen King adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey is landing on a modest $19.5 million from 3,451 locations. Made for about $66 million counting reshoots, the story centers on a boy (played by Tom Taylor) who discovers another dimension where he aligns himself with a Gunslinger (Elba) on a mission to save the world from various enemies, including the Man in Black (McConaughey). Critics mostly panned the movie, leading to its current 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“It was an ambitious undertaking, but it was made at the right price,” said Sony’s domestic distribution chief Adrian Smith. “There’s a lot of summer left,” he added.
Meanwhile, Annapurna’s “Detroit” is not faring as well as expected. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s latest collaboration should end up with $7.3 million from 3,007 locations this weekend. Combined with a week of limited release grosses, its total should stand at $7.8 million. Critics are on board, earning the tale of the Motor City’s 1967 riots a 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience, too, has responded positively — the distributor saw strong exit polls, including over 60% marking definite recommend. The movie is toplined by “Star Wars” breakout John Boyega, as well as Will Poulter, and Algee Smith.
“We wish more people would have showed, but when you look at the movie, we’re proud of the film, and we stand behind the message of the film,” said Annapurna’s distribution head Erik Lomis. “I don’t think it’s just measured by performance only,” he added, “I think it’s longevity.”
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That leaves “Kidnap” — from David Dinerstein’s recently-launched Aviron, and Lotus — which is racing to $10.2 million from 2,378 locations. The movie stars Halle Berry as a mother attempting to rescue her son after he is taken. Aviron acquired the film from a bankrupt Relativity, but the distributor declined to release the thriller’s acquisition cost, making it difficult to judge its performance.
“Dunkirk,” the box office winner the past two weekends, is sliding comfortably into second with $17.6 million from 4,014 locations. That’s only a 34% drop from last weekend. Christopher Nolan’s World War II movie crossed the $300 million mark on Saturday, and by the end of the weekend should tally a $133.6 million domestic total. This weekend it looks to make about $4 million from Imax screens alone, which will count for $29.8 million of the movie’s domestic grosses. Worldwide the cumes stand at $7.5 million this weekend, and $54 million overall. Warner Bros. also continues to see profits from “Wonder Woman,” which will land right up against the $400 million domestic milestone by the end of this weekend.
Sony’s “Emoji Movie” looks to take in $12.35 million this weekend from 4,075 locations, down 50% from last weekend for a domestic total of $49.45 million so far. That’s not a bad drop for a movie that hasn’t particularly pleased critics or audiences (7% on Rotten Tomatoes, B CinemaScore). The same studio’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is closing in on $300 million domestically after earning $8.8 million this weekend from 3,116 locations — its current total after five weeks in theaters should be $294.9 million
“Girls Trip” continues to hang in the top five as Universal expects $11.4 million this weekend from 2,582 locations. The summer comedy’s North American total after three weekend looks to hit $85.4 million. Charlize Theron’s action-packed “Atomic Blonde” is slipping to seventh place as it expects to kick in $8.2 million from 3,326 spots.
In limited release, TWC’s “Wind River” should make $164,167 from four locations. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, and marks Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut. Sheridan conceived the movie as part of a loose trilogy that also includes two recent releases that he wrote, but did not direct, “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water.”
TWC’s COO David Glasser noted that the company saw the film’s promise early on. “It’s clear that audiences feel the same way,” he said. “We’re very excited about the number. There’s a great audience for this movie.” The film will expand to 20 markets next weekend, or about 45 locations.
All this on the calendar spot that last year’s “Suicide Squad” bucked conventional release date wisdom with a record-breaking $133.7 million domestic opening — more than this weekend’s entire projected domestic take. With Sunday’s estimates, the summer box office has slipped nearly 11% lower than 2016, and the year to date overall is about 3% behind last year, according to data provided by ComScore. This summer has lagged overall due to a number of big-budget movies flopping or underperforming, and this weekend’s results only make the situation more dire.