The long-awaited Stephen King adaptation “The Dark Tower,” from Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital, shot straight to the No. 1 spot in this week’s box-office charts, unseating Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” which is in its third week of release.
“Dark Tower,” based on an eight-part King fantasy series, brought in an estimated $19.5 million in its first week in the U.S. and Canada, in line with the studio’s projection of $19 million and just short of analysts’ projections of $20 million to $25 million.
“‘Dark Tower’ was an ambitious and bold undertaking and it was made at the right price,” said Adrian Smith, the studio’s distribution chief. “We’re looking forward as there’s a lot of summer left. Our international roll out is just starting to take off.
“It is kind of an irony because 19 is an important number in Stephen King lore,” Smith added.
Starring Idris Elba as nomadic gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis the Man in Black, the movie released to generally poor reviews. Moviegoers (58% male, 42% female, and 58% over 25) gave the film a so-so B grade from CinemaScore, compared to the dismal 18% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
The picture was directed by Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel, whose 2012 historical drama “A Royal Affair” received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. King, not always fond of adaptations of his work, is credited as a producer on “Dark Tower.” New Line Cinema next month will release its own King adaptation, “It.”
“Dunkirk,” Warner Bros.’ World War II drama, was bumped to second place with $17.6 million amassed over its third week for a cumulative $133.6 million. Its 34% decline from last weekend was among the smallest in the top 10. “Dunkirk” grosses have been bolstered by powerful reviews and widespread interest in Nolan’s rendering of the mission to rescue Allied soldiers from a French beach as Nazi forces closed in.
Coming in third place was Sony’s computer-generated comedy “The Emoji Movie,” about an app-filled world where emoji — including former “Silicon Valley” star T.J. Miller as the “meh” face and Patrick Stewart as the voice of Poop — wait to be used in humans’ text messages. “Emoji Movie” brought in $12.4 million over the weekend, falling 50% from last weekend, and $49.5 million to date.
Universal’s R-rated comedy “Girls Trip” came in fourth in its third week, bringing in $11.4 million for a cumulative total of $85.4 million. The ensemble comedy was made on a modest budget and stars Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and newcomer Tiffany Haddish as old friends who reunite for a weekend of debauchery in New Orleans.
Rounding out the top five was Aviron’s Halle Berry-led thriller “Kidnap,” which came in above its modest $8-million projection, raking in $10.2 million in its first week. Starring Berry as a single mother on a mission to save her abducted son, the film was faced with its own high-stakes drama in 2015 when it was engulfed in Relativity Media’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The film, directed by Luis Prieto, suffered multiple delays before the producers took the project to Aviron Pictures, a new independent Beverly Hills-based entertainment company run by David Dinerstein.
Annapurna Pictures is making its premiere as a Hollywood distributor with the wide release of “Detroit,” the latest from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”). The drama, which centers on civil unrest in Detroit in 1967, came in a little under expectations, bringing in just $7.2 million. The film was expected to take in $10 million to $15 million Friday through Sunday, according to people who have reviewed audience surveys.
“We wish more people would’ve shown up, but the people coming out are talking about it in a very positive way,” said Erik Loomis, Annapurna’s distribution chief. “It’s a movie that we’re extremely proud of and we wanted to get that message out there to as many people as possible. We want people to see what happened in Detroit. We want the conversation started.”
The film opened in limited release last week on 20 screens and increased to 3,000 screens this weekend. Reviews have been positive, with a 95% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, propelling “Detroit” to a strong $350,000 last weekend. The film tells the true story of police brutality occurring at the Algiers Motel during an intense period of civil unrest where Detroit’s cops and its majority black community members faced mounting tensions. John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith and Anthony Mackie star.
“Detroit” also appears to be faring well with the moviegoers who saw it, with those surveyed by comScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak giving it 4.5 out of 5 possible stars.
Annapurna Pictures, founded by Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison, previously only made movies for other studios to distribute. The West Hollywood-based production company is best known for adult dramas including “Her,” released by Warner Bros., and “American Hustle,” distributed by Sony.
On the limited-release front, Fox Searchlight’s “Step” brought in $145,000 across the 29 locations in its first weekend. The documentary, directed by Amanda Lipitz, chronicles the senior year of a girls high school step dance team in Baltimore. “Step” received an impressive 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and will add 24 cities next week. Studio executives call fan reaction “very encouraging.”
Weinstein Co.'s “Wind River” opened in four locations, taking in $164,167 for a per screen average of $41,042. The murder mystery, which was directed by Taylor Sheridan (the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of “Hell or High Water”), is set amid the rugged terrain of an Indian reservation in Wyoming and stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.
Paramount Pictures and Participant Media’s “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” expanded its limited release to 180 locations, grossing $900,000 for the weekend for a new cumulative total of just over $1 million. The film, a follow-up to the Oscar-winning 2006 documentary about climate change starring former Vice President Al Gore, received an A grade on CinemaScore and has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 76%. Next week it will expand to more than 500 locations.
Next week’s wide releases are Warner Bros.’ horror prequel “Annabelle: Creation,” Open Road Films’ indie animated sequel “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature,” and Lionsgate’s drama “The Glass Castle,” an adaptation of the memoir by Jeannette Walls.
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11:55 a.m.: This article has been updated to include the weekend’s key limited release titles.
This article was originally published at 10:15 a.m.