Dunkirk may be an intense, serious war movie, but it still comes from Christopher Nolan, a proven director of blockbusters from atypical pitches; the film beat expectations to net $50.5 million in its first week and showed off competition from The Emoji Movie to win its second. Conversely, The Dark Tower arrives under the shadow of post-production creative clashes and a selection of overly negative reviews. Previous projections based on Thursday totals still had the Matthew McConaughey/Idris Elba-starring Stephen King adaptation easily winning the weekend in the $20-$25 million bracket, but updated numbers suggest otherwise.
The Wrap is reporting Saturday projections for the weekend that peg The Dark Tower making $18 million across the opening frame, with Dunkirk expected to hit around $16-17 million. Given the closeness of the numbers and how much Tower has already fallen, that could indicate Nolan's war thriller maintaining its #1 slot.
Even if Dunkirk does slide to #2, this is still very bad news for The Dark Tower. The film had a moderate budget of $60 million so a below-$20 million opening makes breaking even look incredibly unlikely, especially given the film's terrible reviews and B CinemaScore. With the movie intended to serve as the jumping board for more films and a prequel TV series, that's especially troubling for Sony. That said, their marketing for the movie was incredibly strange, with a very late first trailer and minimal fanfare as release approached suggesting they were always aware of the film's uphill struggle.
As well as reaffirming Dunkirk's success - the film is almost home free into profit - the updated predictions also predict troubles for The Emoji Movie, which is set to drop 50% to $12 million. Costing $50 million, it looks like Sony's other reviled late-Summer release will be a loser.
These are of course mid-weekend estimates so things could change, but the message seems to be that, despite success last month with Baby Driver and Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony is struggling. With recent finance reports having them losing $86 million in the first quarter, this doesn't bode too well for the studio. Bigger than that, it sees Summer 2017 begin to wrap up on a rather ignominious note. Ticket sales have been down this year despite an overall higher quality of content, leaving all studios with some major issues to address going forward.
Source: The Wrap