The Dark Tower performed in line with previous box office predictions during its Thursday evening debut in U.S. theaters. Sony Pictures’ big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s sweeping, genre-blending epic novel series spent several years stuck in early development, before finally moving forward under the direction of Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair). Unfortunately, reviews for The Dark Tower have been mixed at best, unflattering on the whole, and the movie is only projected for a soft domestic opening in the range of $20-25 million this weekend.
On the positive side of things, The Dark Tower cost a relatively slim (by tentpole standards, anyway) $60 million to produce, meaning it has a solid chance of turning a profit during its theatrical run. Arcel’s adaptation is also expected to top the box office over the next few days, beating out both director Kathryn Bigelow’s true story-inspired film Detroit – which goes into wide release this week – and the delayed Halle Berry-led B-movie thriller, Kidnap. That outlook hasn’t changed, following early preview screenings for Dark Tower, either.
Per Deadline, The Dark Tower debuted with $1.8 million stateside on Thursday in 2,770 theaters (it “expands” to 3,451 theaters starting Friday), keeping it on-course to make $20-25 million over the weekend – though Sony is projecting a slightly more conservative $19 million estimate. Detroit and Kidnap, meanwhile, took in $525K and $500K on Thursday evening, likewise keeping the movies on-course to match their previously-reported $13 million and $8 million opening projections, respectively.
Whereas reviews for Detroit have been nearly as strong as those for Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s previous two collaborations (The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty), Kidnap hasn’t gone over so well (see its 41% Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, at the time of writing this) and was originally meant to be released in 2015, before being delayed by nearly two years. Fortunately, like The Dark Tower, Kidnap‘s domestic box office performance alone should be strong enough to cover the movie’s budget and then some, making it a commercial success despite its middling critical reception.
Whether or not Sony will ultimately move forward with more Dark Tower movie adaptations, however, is another matter. Between the so-so box office returns, weak critical response and reports of internal conflicts during post-production on The Dark Tower, studio heads could decide that continuing the property on the big screen might be more trouble than it’s worth. The small screen could be another matter though, as a Dark Tower TV series that maintains continuity with the film appears to still be moving forward – with The Walking Dead veteran Glen Mazzara having been set to serve as its showrunner, earlier this week.
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