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Weekend Wrap-Up: Dark Tower Struggles with $19.15 million

August 8th, 2017

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower opened on the very low end of expectation with just $19.15 million over the weekend. The rest of the box office was more or less in line with predictions, leading to a $122 million haul, which is a 15% decline from last weekend. A 15% decline is pretty normal this time of year. What isn’t normal is a decline of 47% from last year; a year-over-year decline like that normally only happens when there’s a misalignment in holiday, but it wasn’t a surprise, as Suicide Squad earned more last year than the entire box office earned this year. 2017 was already behind 2016’s pace by a large amount, but that deficit more than doubled from last weekend and is now $270 million or 3.8% at $6.89 billion to $7.17 billion. Remember, 2017 started the summer about $200 million ahead of 2016, so the summer has been a disaster at the box office.

The Dark Tower opened in first place with $19.15 million over the weekend, which is acceptable for a film that cost $60 million. Looking at its production budget, estimated advertising budget, studio share, etc., if the film can make over $120 million worldwide, then it will break even, eventually. It won’t make enough to justify a sequel, but the studio won’t lose money, which is minor miracle after ten years of development hell. If the film can top $140 million worldwide, and become a hit on the home market, then and only then should the studio consider making a sequel. The reviews suggest that won’t happen.

Dunkirk was close behind with $17.14 million for a three-week total of $133.09 million. Films released this time of year can have long legs, because there’s no big release to push them out of theaters. Because of that, it will have no trouble matching its $150 million production budget by this time next week and it might hit another major milestone before its domestic run is over. Meanwhile, its current worldwide total is almost enough to pay for its entire production budget, putting it on pace to break even during its initial push onto the home market.

The Emoji Movie didn’t completely collapse during its sophomore stint, falling 51% to $12.01 million over the weekend for a total of $49.11 million after two weeks of release. The film earned some of the worst reviews of the year and it has direct competition this weekend; however, it has already nearly matched its $50 million production budget domestically, so it should have no problem breaking even sooner rather than later. Hopefully they won’t make a sequel, on the other hand.

Girls Trip slipped a spot to fourth place with $11.40 million over the weekend for a three-week total of $85.43 million. The film is still on pace for $100 million, but it might take an extra week to get there and will fall out of the top five before then.

Kidnap scored fifth place with $10.02 million during its opening weekend. The film’s reviews remain 40% positive, which won’t help its legs, but also won’t hurt that much either. Furthermore, it only cost Aviron Pictures about $20 million to for both the distribution rights and its advertising budget. The film will have no trouble matching that domestically and if it can do as well on the home market, then it will break even sooner rather than later.

Detroit struggled with $7.13 million over the weekend for a running tally of $7.64 million, including a week of limited release. The film reportedly cost between $35 million and $40 million to make, so Annapurna Pictures was clearly hoping for more. Its reviews are excellent, but its theater average is low enough that theater owners could drop the film before word-of-mouth really has a chance to work. Perhaps if it does well during Awards Season, its home market run will get a large enough boost to break even.

Looking at the sophomore class, we find Atomic Blonde in seventh place with $8.16 million over the weekend for a total of $34.04 million after two weeks of release. This puts it on pace for $50 million domestically. If it can merely match that internationally, then it will break even early in the film’s home market run.

Finally we get to Wonder Woman. The film finished the weekend with $399.43 million. It will get to the $400 million mark sometime on Tuesday, meaning by the time you read this column, it might have already gotten there.

- Weekend Box Office Chart

- The Dark Tower Comparisons
- Detroit Comparisons
- Kidnap Comparisons

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Wonder Woman, The Dark Tower, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Kidnap, Dunkirk, Atomic Blonde, The Emoji Movie, Girls Trip, Detroit