Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Dark Tower’ Does Not Fall
With two new releases and a third movie switching from a limited to a wide release, this was a weekend of big changes at the box office. Gone are familiar stalwarts like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, and in their places are (with respect) the also-rans of summer, a few genre-driven films looking to carve out a name for themselves in a month devoid of major blockbuster releases. Here are the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
|1||The Dark Tower||$19,500,000||$5,651||$19,500,000|
|3||The Emoji Movie||$12,350,000 (-49%)||$3,031||$49,451,704|
|4||Girls Trip||$11,418,700 (-41%)||$4,422||$85,443,720|
|6||Spider-Man: Homecoming||$8,800,000 (-33%)||$2,8,24||$294,907,776|
|7||Atomic Blonde||$8,244,930 (-54%)||$2,479||$34,125,305|
|9||War for the Planet of the Apes||$6,000,000 (-42%)||$2,219||$130,280,255|
|10||Despicable Me 3||$5,288,640 (-30%)||$2,163||$240,779,550|
Finishing in first with $19.5 million this weekend is The Dark Tower, which is pretty much in line with Variety‘s estimates for the film from earlier this week. The good news for Stephen King fans is that The Dark Tower is now the second-biggest opening for one of his adaptations, slotting directly between 1408 and Secret Window among King’s past releases. Honestly, if you need proof of the importance of adjusting for inflation when comparing movies across decades, look no further than that last sentence: dozens of King adaptations over the years, and the Top 3 from a box office perspective are 1408, The Dark Tower, and Secret Window? Yeah, no. Regardless, with a budget of only $60 million - and, based on the trailers and what-not we all saw, relatively streamlined marketing expenses - this will probably earn a little bit of money when all’s said and done. Low cost, low reward? Sounds like an August release to me.
Also new this week is Halle Berry‘s Kidnap, which earned $10.2 million in fifth place. Back in 2013, Berry starred in The Call, a fun little potboiler directed by unsung filmmaker Brad Anderson, and that film managed to ride a $22 million opening weekend to a $68 million worldwide gross. To paraphrase another movie, it would seem that The Call was as good as it gets for Berry, and it won’t ever get that good again. For what it’s worth, our own critic sorta loved the film, noting that Berry “pours her heart and soul into the film and tries her darndest to turn the material into something decent.” If the budget on this one was low enough - no information has been released, so it’s all speculation right now - maybe everyone involved lives to fight another day. That's as direct a path to disappointment as any.
Oh, and while it’s not technically a new release, this weekend does also mark the wide expansion of Detroit, which finished in eighth place with $7.2 million. Considering that Kathryn Bigelow‘s previous film, Zero Dark Thirty, made $24 million in its first wide-release weekend on a similar budget, this constitutes a bit of a step back for the filmmaker. Despite its stellar reviews - Detroit is currently holding at an 88% on RottenTomatoes - the film has inspired a fair amount of backlash, with many influential critics arguing that Detroit is a jumbled and (at times) inadvertently offensive look at an important instance of police brutality. It’s also worth noting that many film critics of color have had a very negative reaction to the film, suggesting that Detroit has managed to alienate the very communities it purports to be about.
That does it for the new releases, so let’s quickly run through the repeat films. In second place this weekend is Dunkirk, which grossed $17.6 million as part of its extremely strong third weekend. This actually keeps it solidly ahead of Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar at the box office; that film had grossed $120 million through its third weekend, while Dunkirk has now grossed $133 million since its opening. With a Chinese release date yet to come, and an award season re-release a guarantee at this point, it’ll be interesting to see where Dunkirk lands when all is said and done. In third place this weekend with $12.3 million is The Emoji Movie, and if you were hoping that the film would crater out in its second weekend, I’m sorry to report that the film actually held a pretty strong pace. I’d rather not waste more ink on this movie than is absolutely necessary, so here, go watch our The Emoji Movie edition of Critics Are Raving. You’re welcome.
In fourth place is Girls Trip, which picked up another $11.4 million on its path to $100 million at the box office. With $85.4 million in the books already, the film should break that barrier sometime in the next week or so, proving that raunchy all-girl comedies can be both critical and commercial successes if they’re, you know, actually good. In sixth place this weekend is Spider-Man: Homecoming, which grossed $8.8 million and should cross the $300 million mark at the domestic box office in the next few days. Iron Man 2 ($312 million) and Iron Man ($318 million) are still solidly in the film’s sights, but it doesn’t look like Spider-Man: Homecoming has the momentum needed to crack into the Top 5 of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Nothing wrong with being the odd man out when the competition is that stiff, and like we’ve pointed out before, Marvel’s making all its money off marketing anyways.
Atomic Blonde dipped down to seventh place this weekend with $8.2 million, bringing its domestic total up to $34 million. It’s interesting - and only natural, really - to compare this movie to the original John Wick. While Atomic Blonde has grossed more than that film through its first two weekends, the per-theater average on Atomic Blonde has also dipped a little bit, perhaps highlighting the slightest whiff of disappointment you detect when perusing IMDb ratings and audience reviews. Maybe it’s no John Wick, but how many movies really are? War for the Planet of the Apes pops into ninth place this weekend with $6 million. That’s $50 million off the pace of the previous film with diminished global box office returns as well, making War as much of a disappointment as any movie that grosses $278 million worldwide can possibly be. Finally, Despicable Me 3 rounds out our Top 10 with $5.2 million, bringing its global gross up to $879 million. Here I am, agonizing over a few million here or there, and Despicable Me 3 has outgrossed, like, everything else on the list combined. Those dang minions.