The Dark Tower is on track to top Detroit at the box office in its opening weekend. The highly anticipated, Idris Elba-led adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel series is actually something of a sequel to the books, while the TV series of the same name will go back in time and mostly cover King’s fourth Dark Tower entry, Wizard and Glass. Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, meanwhile, will hit theaters amid near-universal critical acclaim at 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk has enjoyed a strong two-week start to its box office run, but it appears that the World War II thriller’s time at the top could be coming to an end. While Detroit could earn Bigelow and star John Boyega plenty of attention come Oscar time, it was always going to be tough to top The Dark Tower’s star power and built-in fanbase. The latter is expected to take the box office crown in its opening weekend.
As reported by Variety on Wednesday, The Dark Tower is being projected for $20-25 million in its opening weekend at 3,449 theaters, compared to a $10-15 million projection at 2,800 theaters for Detroit. Columbia and MRC are being more conservative with their projections for The Dark Tower at $19 million.
The third notable new wide release of the weekend is Aviron Pictures’ Kidnap, which stars Halle Berry and has drawn comparisons to Taken. Kidnap, which has suffered through delays since 2015, is expected to open to about $8 million. Variety paints an overall bleak picture for the summer box office, as this weekend is expected to be a steep drop from the same time last year when Suicide Squad opened to $133.7 million. Through last weekend, the 2017 summer season is down over 8 percent compared to last year.
Despite the underwhelming overall performance of the summer season so far, the box office projections are still encouraging news for The Dark Tower, which cost just $60 million to make. Reviews are not yet out for the King adaptation, but they were expected to drop Wednesday night. It appears that Columbia will be able to celebrate at least one successful weekend with theatergoers.
The box office projections are arguably even better news for Detroit, despite the movie expected to finish second at best. It should have no problem beating its $34 million budget and will likely still be fresh in audience’s minds come awards season. The Dark Tower may yet win in its opening weekend, but the movie’s lack of buzz despite its popular source material and reportedly contentious production could make its box office success short-lived. Still, based on its projections, The Dark Tower’s first weekend can be considered a relative success anyway.
KEY RELEASE DATES
The Dark Tower release date: Aug 4, 2017
Detroit release date: Aug 4, 2017