No one was expecting much from Sony Pictures’ reworking of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, even when the expected horrible reviews weren’t nearly as bad as expected. (They were pretty bad, though.)
Even so, it was going to be hard to get past the amount of Dark Tower naysaying that flooded the internet this week, and many moviegoers seemed to just want to stay home and watch Netflix instead.
The Dark Tower brought in an estimated $7.7 million yesterday, including $1.7 million in previews Thursday night. Depending on how the movie does today, that might be a struggle to make $20 million for the weekend. We’ll have to see how things go, but that would make it one of the worst openings for the first weekend of August in quite some time. For at least ten years or more, this weekend has been seen as the last summer weekend to release a potential blockbuster.
By comparison, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk made an estimated $5 million on Friday, so it could be another close race for #1, although it will likely end up with $17 million for the weekend.
Two new distributors are also giving it a go to release their own movies this weekend with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures releasing Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit nationwide into just over 3,000 theaters, and Aviron Pictures releasing Halle Berry’s thriller Kidnap into less than 2,400 theaters.
Going by Friday numbers, it might be a close race between the two movies, but Kidnap is already ahead with $3.7 million to Detroit’s $2.6 million. We’ll have to see if the buzz (both negative and positive) for Detroit might help it over the weekend, especially since star-powered thrillers are sometimes frontloaded. Either way, with Bigelow’s involvement and such positive reviews, Detroit should have done better, as well.
The Dark Tower also fared the worst among the new releases with moviegoers according to CinemaScore with its “B” rating compared to the “A-” for Detroit and “B+” for Kidnap.
Look for our full weekend box office report sometime Monday.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor