‘Dark Tower’ tops slow weekend, ‘Detroit’ disappoints

NEW YORK — After a decade of development and several postponements, the long-awaited Stephen King adaptation “The Dark Tower” debuted with an estimated $19.5 million in North American ticket sales, narrowly edging out the two-week leader “Dunkirk.”

The modest result for “The Dark Tower,” starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, was in line with expectations heading into the weekend but well shy of initial hopes for a possible franchise-starter.

J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard are among the directors who previously tried to tackle King’s magnum opus, a seven-book series that melds sci-fi with horror and other genres.

But the long battle to make “The Dark Tower” ended with poor reviews and few fireworks. Still, the movie was made for a relatively modest amount: about $60 million, or half of what many other summer movies cost. Sony Pictures also split costs with Media Rights Capital.

“It was always an ambitions and bold undertaking but it was made at the right price,” said Adrian Smith, president of domestic distribution for Sony Pictures.

By comparison, the recent flop “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” which opened with $17 million, cost at least $180 million to make.

Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk” slid to second with $17.6 million in its third week. It’s now made $133.6 million domestically. Other holdovers — “The Emoji Movie” ($12.4 million in its second week) and “Girls Trip” ($11.4 million in its third week) followed.

Another long-delayed film also made its debut. The Halle Berry thriller “Kidnap” opened with $10.2 million. The film, styled after the Liam Neeson “Taken” series,” was released by the new distributor Aviron Pictures after it bought the North American rights from Relativity. Before entering bankruptcy, Relativity had scheduled the film’s release for 2015.

But “Kidnap” still outperformed the week’s other new wide release, the far more anticipated “Detroit.” The Kathryn Bigelow-directed docudrama is also the first release for an upstart distributor.

The first film distributed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, “Detroit” debuted with a disappointing $7.3 million after a limited release last week. As a producer, Ellison, the Oracle heiress, has been behind some of the most acclaimed films in recent years, including “Foxcatcher” and “American Hustle.”

“Detroit,” the third collaboration between Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker,” ”Zero Dark Thirty”), reimagines the terror-filled events around the Algiers Motel incident during the 1967 Detroit riots.

“We wish more people had showed up this weekend but we are really, really proud of the movie,” said Erik Lomis, Annapurna’s distribution chief. “The movie got an A-minus CinemaScore and the reviews have been spectacular.”

Though hard-hitting, auteur-driven films are typically fall material, Annapurna timed the release of “Detroit” to the 50th anniversary of the riots. Lomis said the intention was to bring the film to as broad an audience as possible.

“We believe that smart audiences actually want and will see great movies all year round,” he said.

In limited release, Taylor Sheridan’s Indian reservation thriller “Wind River,” starring Jeremy Renner, debuted with a strong per-screen average of $13,053 in four theatres. The Weinstein Co. release was written and directed by Sheridan, the screenwriter behind the Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Dark Tower,” $19.5 million ($8 million international).

2. “Dunkirk,” $17.6 million ($25 million international).

3. “The Emoji Movie,” $12.4 million ($12 million international).

4. “Girls Trip,” $11.4 million ($1.7 million international).

5. “Kidnap,” $10.2 million.

6. “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” $8.8 million ($9.6 million international).

7. “Atomic Blonde,” $8.2 million ($5 million international).

8. “Detroit,” $7.3 million.

9. “War for the Planet of the Apes,” $6 million ($31.5 million international).

10. “Despicable Me 3,” $5.3 million ($21.2 million international).

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. “Wolf Warrior 2,” $163 million.

2. “Once Upon a Time,” $38 million.

3. “War for the Planet of the Apes,” $31.5 million.

4. “A Taxi Driver,” $25.2 million.

5. “Dunkirk,” $25 million.

6. “Despicable Me 3,” $21.2 million.

7. “The Emoji Movie,” $12 million.

8. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” $11 million.

9. “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” $9.6 million.

10. “Cars 3,” $9.6 million.

___

Just Posted

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

UPDATED: Look no further than Westerner Park for renovation ideas

Red Deer Home Renovation & Design Show runs Friday to Sunday

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

Lorinda Stewart recounts bargaining for her daughter’s life in new memoir

Amanda Lindhout’s mom will speak in Red Deer on Nov. 4

Red Deer photographer captures rare spirit bears

As part of a Canada 150 project he toured some parts of Canada

Business of the Year Awards celebrate local achievement

Olymel, The Bra Lounge, 360 Fitness and Postma Electrical Services Ltd. are the winners this year

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Owner of medical marijuana dispensaries challenges constitutionality of law

The law under which the owner of two medical marijuana dispensaries was… Continue reading

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month