Weekend Box Office Predictions: Dark Tower May Crumble, Detroit Expands

The Dark Tower's performance at the box office could be hampered by an iffy reception.

This weekend, we see an anticipated book adaptation, a nationwide expansion, and an original film finally being released. Predictions are below.

 

The Dark Tower (Sony)

After years of anticipation, Stephen King’s opus The Dark Tower comes to theatres, courtesy of Sony. Featuring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as leads, with Ron Howard producing and Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) directing, The Dark Tower comes off as a shoe-in for “late-summer hit.”

The reality is different, however – clashing creatives impacted the film’s production, marketing has been minimal (a concerning sign), and thus far there are no scores on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb (an even more concerning sign). The book series’ fans have not taken kindly to a few creative decisions (e.g., the abundance of CGI), meaning The Dark Tower will need to entice general audiences. This rounds back to the lack of marketing and overall outreach, which appears to be Sony and company cutting their losses – plus, there is plenty of competition targeting similar demographics (Dunkirk is chugging along; Atomic Blonde opened decently; Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes are still playing).

It is difficult to find comparisons for The Dark Tower, but its performance may be comparable to this April’s Ghost in the Shell, a fellow adaptation that had fans questioning creative choices and low buzz. Ghost in the Shell opened to $18.6 million – depending on reception, The Dark Tower should be able to eke past that, but the damage from negative buzz is irreversible (I would love to be wrong, though). Fortunately for Sony, Dark Tower cost a relatively cheap $60 million to produce.

Prediction: $22 million, #1 rank

 

Detroit (Annapurna)

Director Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty sees her returning to socially-conscious ground – Detroit covers the story of the 1967 12th Street Riot, and releases to commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary. Detroit is the kind of film that is received well by critics but doesn’t break out with mainstream audiences; re-enactments of gut-wrenchingly dark events with timely themes are not usually “date night” and/or “escapism-friendly” fare (on the other hand, Dunkirk fits that bill and has been very successful). That said, Detroit’s notices are lavish with a 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 7.8/10 from nearly 70 reviews), and its IMDb rating is a decent 7.1/10 from nearly 500 scores.

Detroit has already opened in limited release, where it has grossed over $430,000 from 20 theatres. It expands into 2,800+ locations this weekend. Ava DuVernay’s Selma may be a good comparison – that Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic opened to $11.3 million from 2,179 locations. If Detroit hits a similar per-theatre average, it will gross $14.5 million. Regardless, the John Boyega/Anthony Mackie/Will Poulter film should have a leggy run.

Prediction: $14 million, #3 rank

 

Kidnap (Aviron)

Luis Preto’s Kidnap, starring Halle Berry, has an interesting backstory. Initially, it was scheduled to be released October 9th, 2015 via Relativity Media, but was shifted around three times due to Relativity’s financial crisis. In the end, Relativity lost the rights to the film, and Aviron Pictures (once known as Clarius Entertainment) picked it up. Considering Kidnap has been completed for over two years, buzz is non-existent. Kidnap’s premise revolves around a mother (Halle Berry) saving her child from dangerous kidnappers – a premise not unlike Berry’s own The Call, which was a modest success for Sony/TriStar ($51.9 million domestically/$68.8 million globally), but appearing to be a retread is not a benefit. Berry’s last theatrical appearance was a minor role in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, and it would be difficult to consider her enough of a draw to carry Kidnap. That, and we already have a female actioner with Atomic Blonde in theatres.

Reception for Kidnap consists of an IMDb rating of 6.1/10 from over 6,100 scores, and there are no critic reviews as of this writing. I don’t imagine there is a lot on the line for Aviron Pictures here, but it’s doubtful that Kidnap will stand out from the crowd.

Prediction: $6 million, #9 rank

 

HOLDOVER PREDICTIONS

Atomic BLonde

2. Dunkirk – $15.7 million (-41%), $131m cume
4. Girls Trip – $14.9 million (-24%), $89m cume
5. The Emoji Movie – $13.5 million (-45%), $50m cume
6. Atomic Blonde – $10 million (-45%), $36.2m cume
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming – $8.5 million (-36%), $294.5m cume
8. War for the Planet of the Apes – $6.5 million (-38%), $131m cume
10. Despicable Me 3 – $4.9 million (-36%), $240.1m cume

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Friday box office estimates.

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