'The Dark Tower' Tops Lowest Weekend of Summer 2017 Yet
by Brad Brevet
August 6, 2017
Sony's The Dark Tower topped the softest weekend at the domestic box office since early April, opening with less than $20 million. Among other new releases, Aviron's Kidnap had a modest showing, squeaking above $10 million, while Annapurna's Detroit was unable to take off in its nationwide expansion. Overall, with the top twelve films grossing $111.5 million makes this the lowest grossing weekend of the summer season and sixth lowest of the year as the 2017 summer movie season is currently down ~10% compared to 2016.
At #1, Sony's release of The Dark Tower, a long-awaited adaptation of the Stephen King sci-fi/fantasy series, delivered an estimated $19.5 million from 3,451 locations. It's a disappointing debut for the $60 million production, which is expected to kick-off a multi-platform franchise with co-financier MRC currently developing a television series. That being said, this is the second largest opening weekend ever for a King adaptation, behind the $20.6 million debut for 2007's 1408, which went on to gross over $70 million domestically, but don't look for Dark Tower to reach those heights, which is more likely to settle closer to $50-55 million once all is said and done.
Ahead of release, The Dark Tower wasn't helped by critics. The film received a weak score of 35 on the review aggregation site Metacritic and opening day audiences weren't particularly impressed either, giving the film a "B" CinemaScore. Of that audience, 58% were male vs. 42% female and of the overall audience, 68% were over the age of 25.
Internationally, The Dark Tower opened in 19 markets, bringing in an estimated $8 million, of which $4.1 million came in from Russia. Looking ahead, the film opens in France, Germany and Italy next weekend followed by releases in Australia, UK, Spain, Korea, Brazil and Mexico later this month.
Dunkirk finished in second with an estimated $17.6 million, dropping only 34% in its third weekend in release for a domestic cume just shy of $135 million. Internationally, Dunkirk delivered an estimated $25 million from 63 markets bringing its overseas cume to $180.6 million for a global tally that now stands at $314.2 million. Looking ahead, the film opens in Italy at the end of August followed by early September releases in China and Japan.
Sony's animated feature The Emoji Movie finished in third with an estimated $12.35 million, dropping around 50% in its second weekend for a domestic cume just shy of $50 million in ten days. Internationally, after opening in just Kenya and Israel last weekend, The Emoji Movie reached 21 markets this weekend and brought in an estimated $12 million for an overseas cume of $12.7 million. Later this month it will reach Spain, Russia and Brazil with openings in Australia in September and France in October.
Landing in fourth after yet another strong performance is Universal's R-rated comedy Girls Trip, finishing with an estimated $11.4 million, dropping just 42% in its third weekend with a domestic cume that now totals over $85 million. After seventeen days in release Girls Trip is pacing a fraction ahead of where Bridesmaids was at the same point in the release cycle.
And rounding out the top five is Aviron's Kidnap. The Halle Berry-starrer delivered on the top end of our expectations heading into the weekend, delivering an estimated $10.2 million from 2,378 locations. The film received a "B+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences and of that audience 63% were female vs. 37% male and overall, 73% were over the age of 25.
Finishing outside the top ten, Annapurna's Detroit had a tough weekend. Kathryn Bigelow's latest struggled in its nationwide expansion, pulling in an estimated $7.7 million from 3,007 theaters for a $2,411 per theater average. Expectations heading into the weekend were a performance in the low teens, but instead this performance is much closer to that of Free State of Jones, another adult drama that debut in the summer last year and managed to only bring in $7.6 million in its opening before finishing with $20.8 million for its domestic run. Audiences did agree with critics (78 on Metacritic), scoring the film with a strong "A-" CinemaScore, but with an opening like this it's unlikely word of mouth will be able to keep it around for too long.
In limited release, The Weinstein Co. released Wind River into four theaters and brought in an estimated $164,167 for a sturdy, $41,042 per theater average. The film will expand into ~40 locations among the top 20 markets with a further expansion planned for the following weekend.
Other limited releases include Fox Searchlight's Step, which brought in an estimated $145,000 from 29 theaters ($5,000 PTA); Purdie's We Love You, Sally Carmichael! opened with an estimated $34,397 in seven locations ($4,914 PTA); Independent's release of Kogonada's Columbus brought in an estimated $28,000 from two locations; Brave New Jersey debuted with an estimated $14,105 from 14 locations (%552 PTA); and It's Not Dark Yet opened with an estimated $1,000 from two theaters.
Elsewhere, Spider-Man: Homecoming finished the weekend with a domestic cume just shy of $295 million while Wonder Woman needs less than $500k to become the 27th film all-time to top $400 million at the domestic box office.
Speaking of $400 million, The H Collective's release of Wolf Warrior 2 enjoyed an impressive weekend both domestically and especially abroad. Despite losing 21 screens in North America, the film saw a 110% increase in its weekend gross, bringing in an estimated $460k for a domestic total just over $1 million. However, where the even bigger story lies is in the film's performance in China where it topped $400 million on Saturday, out-performing the $392 million performance of The Fate of the Furious, to become the second largest film in China ever behind 2016's The Mermaid, which holds the record with over $525 million and it looks as if that record is going down.
Next weekend sees the latest film in the Conjuring franchise hit theaters with the sequel Annabelle: Creation debuting in over 3,400 theaters. Lionsgate will release The Glass Castle into ~1,400 theaters and Open Road will debut the animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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