Weekend Wrap-Up

Dark Tower Opens Ugly As Year-Over-Year Comparison Plummets

By John Hamann

August 6, 2017

Walking like a bunch of hobbits to find a tower.

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Ron Howard was the first to envision a multi-platform approach to The Dark Tower series, where a big screen film would kick-off an approach that would see a TV series and more features following after. That is all toast now, as director Nikolaj Arcel failed to deliver a product that audiences wanted to see. Matthew McConaughey has his third consecutive miss after flopping with Gold ($3.3 million opening, $7.2 million domestic), The Sea of Trees (the Gus Van Sant flick made $20,444 total), and Free State of Jones ($7.6 million opening, $20.8 million domestic total). Idris Elba failed to build on any fanboy love earned from Star Trek Beyond and will have to find another entry to build a fanbase in the US. Elba is the only thing The Dark Tower has going for it overseas, and it will be a severe stretch to find a profit on the $60 million film, given the domestic debut and the likelihood of this genre mix working overseas.

Finishing second is Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic. The much-loved film earned $5 million on Friday night, falling a very slim 37% when comparing this Friday to last. From that number alone, we knew the weekend hold would again be impressive. Dunkirk earned $17.6 million in its third weekend and fell only 34%, a massive hold considering the film had already earned $116 million heading into the weekend. The total for the $100 million flick has now risen to $133.6 million, and it joins the $180 million earned overseas.

Third is The Emoji Movie. After a life-affirming 62% drop from Friday-to-Friday, the movie about nothing came back a bit. Regardless, audiences have figured out there is nothing to see here. The weekend total came in at $12.4 million, off 50% compared to opening weekend. The domestic total for Sony’s $50 million animated feature has now hit $49.5 million after 10 days of release.

Fourth is Girl Trip, the other leggy film in the top ten. The Bridesmaids-like hit earned another $11.4 million and dropped only 42% compared to last weekend. The summer hit from Universal has already racked up $85.4 million after three weekends of release, and stands as a jewel against its $19 million budget. This one should play nicely over these slower August weekends, like an African-American We’re the Millers.

Halle Berry’s Kidnap did okay for a smaller film this weekend, opening to a not terrible $10.2 million from 2,378 theaters. I say not terrible because this was originally a Relativity Media release, the company that went bankrupt and had to sell off their remaining film inventory. This one was sold off to a company called Aviron Pictures, which picked it up for $3 million. So, considering it was on the shelf for three years, I would be happy with this result. At Rotten Tomatoes, Kidnap came in with a could-be-worse 41%, and the Cinemascore was better than I expected at a B+. If word-of-mouth can get out, a film like this could gain a following in the dog days of summer.


Spider-Man: Homecoming is sixth, as the Sony/Marvel release has a strong weekend. The latest film incarnation of the webslinger earned $8.8 million in its fifth weekend and fell 34%, giving it its first weekend-to-weekend drop below 40%. The domestic gross for Homecoming has risen to $294.9 million, and it will cross the $300 million mark this week. The overseas gross has gone beyond the $375 million mark, so the $175 million film has earned $670 million plus at the worldwide box office.

Atomic Blonde drops heavily after finishing fourth over its opening frame with $18.3 million. Over its second weekend, the Charlize Theron flick picked up another $8.2 million but fell a heavy 55%. The $30 million Focus release has now earned $34.1 million domestically.

In eighth, new release Detroit has a rougher weekend than most expected, but the Detroit riots make for tough subject matter. So, an early August release date was not a great choice. After opening on 20 screens last weekend, Annapurna Pictures went very wide in its second weekend, taking the film out to 3,007 venues. Detroit earned $7.3 million this weekend from all of those screens, which would have left half-empty theaters instead of packed houses had the studio chosen to platform the release. Reviews for the Kathryn Bigelow flick were great like usual – 88% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, but I think the release strategy was not smart, and could sink the $34 million film. The good news is that the Cinemascore was an A-, so like Kidnap, word may get out. Give Detroit $7.8 million to date, and my hopes that audiences check it out.

War For The Planet of the Apes continues its freefall to ninth, as it earned only $6 million and declined 43%. The film, which held so much promise prior to release, will likely exit the top ten with a domestic total of $130.3 million, against a budget of $150 million. The $145 million plus earned overseas helps, but it's just not enough to save this one.

Universal and Illumination land Despicable Me 3 in tenth, giving it six weekends at least in the top ten. This weekend, Gru and Family earned $5.3 million, and the animated film dropped 30%. The total for the $80 million release has hit $240.8 million, while the overseas gross is huge at $640 million.

Overall this weekend, the top 12 records a terrible combined gross of $111.6 million, as it fails to earn what Suicide Squad opened to ($133 million) last year. Last year’s Suicide Squad top 12 combined for a masterful $221.3 million, which simply embarrasses the 2017 number. Next weekend brings Annabelle: Creation, the prequel that is earning fabulous reviews. Also opening is The Glass Castle with Brie Larson and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, a film where one wonders why they don’t remember the original Nut Job.

Top Ten for Weekend of August 4-6, 2017
Estimated Gross (millions)
Weekly Change
Running Total (millions)
1 The Dark Tower Sony 19.5 New 19.5
2 Dunkirk Warner Bros. 17.6 -34% 133.6
3 The Emoji Movie Sony 12.4 -50% 49.6
4 Girls Trip Universal 11.4 -42% 85.4
5 Kidnap Aviron 10.2 New 10.2
6 Spider-Man: Homecoming Sony 8.8 -34% 294.9
7 Atomic Blonde Focus 8.2 -55% 34.1
8 Detroit Annapurna 7.3 +1,971% 7.9
9 War for the Planet of the Apes 20th Century Fox 6.0 -43% 130.3
10 Despicable Me 3 Universal 5.3 -30% 240.8
11 Baby Driver TriStar 2.6 -36% 97.1
12 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets STX 2.4 -63% 36.1

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