‘The Dark Tower’ debuts on top with a familiar number for fans

It was a lacklustre weekend at the box office, with the highest profile debut performing below even the many low expectations. Here’s what went down:

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower debut in first place at the box office with a disappointing $19.6 million (though with the number 19 significant in the novels, maybe this isn’t so bad?). Prior to reviews, estimates were that the film, which Sony hoped would be the debut of a new franchise, would hit in the mid-20’s, but the crushing reviews and fan backlash wound up giving The Dark Tower an underwhelming opening. The fact that neither of its stars can actually open a film didn’t help either. There’s just nothing good about that number, no spin that anyone can really use. The likelihood of the movie getting a cinematic sequel is virtually nil, unless it manages to perform well overseas. There is hope with the announced prequel television series, though, as many believe that tv was where this series should have been in the first place

I had really debated about not writing anything personal about The Dark Tower. I’m so close to it, as a fan, and there’s part of me that figured that if I liked it, I’d be writing to defend what showed up on screen. However, the truth is, I did like the movie. Very much, even with all of its obvious flaws. Having followed the film’s journey to the big screen, I knew very well that what would eventually arrive would be quite different from the books that left an indelible impact on me. This wasn’t going to be an obvious adaptation, verbatim. And fans, mostly those with little imagination, couldn’t accept that Roland would be portrayed by Iris Elba, regardless of his acting chops. 

Honestly, these changes didn’t bother me when announced, and they didn’t bother me while watching the movie. This film may not be The Dark Tower as written by King, or even in comics by Peter David and Robin Furth, but it is some version of the tale. I thought all the performances were entertaining, I loved the various nods to King’s universe, and I genuinely thought using the character of Jake (who is very important in the novels) as the entry point worked well. I look at this cinematic version of The Dark Tower as a quick and dirty amalgamation of some of the series’ best points, and in that regard, it worked for me. Is the film flawed? Yes, without question. Could it and should it have been bigger and better than what it is? Undoubtedly. But it is a one-star, horrible mess of a movie? Not to me. And in this case, that’s good enough.

As for the rest of the top five, Dunkirk dropped to second place with $17.4 million. The Emoji Movie was in third place with $12.6 million. Girls Trip landed in fourth place with $11.5 million, while the new Halle Berry film Kidnap debut in fifth place with $10.1 million.


So, to recap, here were our predictions:

1) The Dark Tower – $26 million
2) Dunkirk – $23 million
3) Girls Trip – $13 million
4) Kidnap – $12.5 million
5) The Emoji Movie – $10 million

And here’s how the weekend is estimated to turn out:

1) The Dark Tower – $19.6 million
2) Dunkirk – $17.4 million
3) The Emoji Movie – $12.6 million
4) Girls Trip – $11.5 million
5) Kidnap – $10.1 million

Next weekend sees the release of Annabelle 2. Be sure to check back on Sunday to see our predictions!


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