Box Office Guru

Box Office: Dark Tower #1 as Summer Slowdown Comes Early

A new Stephen King story made its way to the box office as The Dark Tower opened at number one over what was a relatively slow kickoff to August

by | August 6, 2017 | Comments

A new Stephen King story made its way to the box office as The Dark Tower opened at number one over what was a relatively slow kickoff to August, the final month of the summer movie season. Sony collected an estimated $19.5M over the weekend from 3,451 theaters for a $5,651 average. The last time the first weekend of August was led by a film with a lower gross than this was in 1998 when Saving Private Ryan was tops in its third frame with $17.4M.

But with a budget of $60M and good international appeal, Tower is just getting its global revenue streams going. Reviews were harsh for the Idris Elba-Matthew McConaughey actioner and audiences were only somewhat satisfied as the CinemaScore grade was a mediocre B. Demographics were typical of a sci-fi action thriller with the crowd being 58% male and 68% over 25. Dark Tower will roll out across much of the world throughout August.

Christopher Nolan no longer occupied the number one spot with his war thriller Dunkirk but did place second with an estimated $17.6M holding well with a 34% decline. Warner Bros. added 266 extra locations this weekend boosting the theater count to over 4,000 as the domestic cume rose to $133.6M, with 22% of that coming from IMAX screens. Dunkirk is now the third biggest original live-action movie this year trailing Get Out and Split, but will end up passing both by the end of the summer. Reaching the $200M mark is certainly possible especially since there are no more major tentpoles opening for the rest of the month. Overseas grosses climbed to $180.6M putting global at $314.2M. With China, Japan, and Italy still to come, look for Dunkirk to make it north of $500M.

The animated comedy The Emoji Movie dropped a reasonable 50% in its second weekend to an estimated $12.4M. The Sony release has collected $49.5M in ten days and may end up in the $90M range – good for such a critically-panned movie. Its budget was a modest $50M.

The ladies of Girls Trip kept partying in their third weekend as the hit comedy fell 42% to an estimated $11.4M boosting the cume to a robust $85.4M with more to come. Strong buzz is leading to good legs for this R-rated pic and studios have prepared a weak menu for the rest of August so this breakout film has the potential to reach about $130M. That would make Girls Trip the highest grossing comedy across the 2016-2017 period.

Halle Berry anchored a respectable opening weekend for her latest film Kidnap which debuted in fifth place with an estimated $10.2M. The R-rated thriller earned mixed reviews but averaged a decent $4,294 from 2,378 locations for Aviron.

Sony’s super hero actioner Spider-Man: Homecoming dipped 34% to an estimated $8.8M putting the total at $294.9M. A final in the friendly neighborhood of $325M seems likely which would be below all of the original Tobey Maguire Spidey flicks, but ahead of both Andrew Garfield ones. Down a disturbing 55% in its second weekend was the Charlize Theron actioner Atomic Blonde with an estimated $8.2M. Focus has banked $34.1M to date on its way to nearly $60M.

Despite critical acclaim, audiences did not come out for the new R-rated drama Detroit which expanded nationwide to an estimated $7.3M from 3,007 locations for a mild $2,411 average. It was a tough start for Annapurna’s new distribution operation as Detroit scored this year’s second lowest opening weekend for a 3,000+ theater debut behind just Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Reviews for the Kathryn Bigelow film were very strong, but summer moviegoers were not in the mood for this serious true story examining civil unrest in the 1960s.

High-profile threequels rounded out the top ten. Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes grossed an estimated $6M, down 43%, for a cume of $130.3M to date. The toon Despicable Me 3 dropped just 30% to an estimated $5.3M giving Universal $240.8M. Worldwide hauls now stand at $278.1M and $879.5M, respectively.

After an incredible nine-week run in the top ten, the summer’s biggest blockbuster Wonder Woman fell off that list but still displayed terrific legs once again. Dropping only 29% to an estimated $2.4M, the Warner Bros. juggernaut lifted its domestic cume to $399.5M and will shatter the quadruple century mark this Tuesday. With another $394M+ from overseas markets, Wonder Woman now stands at $794M worldwide with Japan still to come later this month.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $106.6M which was down a sharp 51% from last year when Suicide Squad opened at number one with an August record $133.7M; and down 6% from 2015 when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation stayed in the top spot with $28.5M.

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