Box Office Prediction: Detroit vs. The Dark Tower

Welcome to the Screen Rant Box Office Prediction. Every week we put together an informal list of box office picks for the upcoming weekend to offer readers a rough estimate of how new releases (and returning holdovers) will perform in theaters.

For a recap of last week's box office totals, read our box office wrap-up from Dunkirk's opening weekend, and scroll to the bottom of this post to see how our picks matched up.

Full disclosure: Box office predictions are not an exact science. We acknowledge our picks may not always be correct. For the sake of offering a jumping off point for discussion, here are our picks for the weekend of August 4 - 6, 2017.

This weekend, The Dark Tower opens in 3,451 theaters, Detroit plays in 3,007 locations, and Kidnap debuts in 2,738 theaters.

#1 - The Dark Tower

Our choice for first this week is The Dark Tower (read our review), the long-gestating adaptation based on Stephen King's acclaimed series of novels. The project encountered its fair share of issues during production (and even post), which raised several questions about its potential quality. Those concerns seem to have been warranted, since the critical reaction was quite poor. After a stretch of well-received films over the past few weeks, The Dark Tower is the latest summer release to come up short with the pundits, which probably won't help its commercial prospects. Casual audiences won't be enticed to check it out in theaters, as recent studies have shown.

Still, there are some factors that work in Dark Tower's favor. It's headlined by stars Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba, who are recognizable names. Neither is a guaranteed box office lock every time out, but their A-list status could give the film a slight boost. Additionally, the source material comes with a built-in fan base eager to see the world brought to life on the big screen. For many, this is an anticipated film, and they'll show up to the theater regardless of what the word-of-mouth is. It's already off to a good start thanks to Thursday preview screenings, with projections for the weekend set at $20-25 million. Some estimates suggest around $17 million, but it looks like Dark Tower can win the weekend.

#2 - Dunkirk

After two weeks in the #1 spot, we think Dunkirk (read our review), will slide to second in its third weekend. Christopher Nolan's World War II drama has done very well in the early course of its run, earning $115.9 million domestically at this point. While the film should continue to hold strong thanks to its widespread acclaim and status as a must see on the biggest of screens, the arrival of a high-profile offering like Dark Tower might be enough to unseat it. In all likelihood, it will be a close race for first, but since Dark Tower is the new film at the multiplex, we're giving it the edge.

#3 - Detroit

Our pick for third is Detroit (read our review), the latest film from director Kathryn Bigelow. Due the pedigree of the creative team (which also includes screenwriter Mark Boal), Detroit has been pegged as an early awards contender, and it looks to live up to that hype. The reviews are very positive across the board, with many praising Bigelow's crafting of tense and terrifying sequences that tap into some timely social issues in today's world. Marketing has also played up Bigelow's previous movie, Zero Dark Thirty, which earned $95.7 million domestically back in 2012. Cinephiles should be intrigued to check Detroit out for these reasons.

However, Detroit could have a hard time truly breaking out and topping some of its competition. As the film is distributed by Annapurna Pictures (and doesn't have a major studio behind it), awareness could be an issue amongst more casual viewers. And though Star Wars leading man John Boyega has been featured in many of the trailers, he's untested as a box office draw at this point in his career, meaning Detroit lacks strong enough star power at the outset to say it can beat Dunkirk or Dark Tower. Projections are in a wide range, with some predicting a three-day start as low as $8.3 million, while others are more optimistic with $13 million. Either way, the tracking implies Detroit won't be able to secure a victory.

John Boyega in Detroit

#4 - Girls Trip

Coming in fourth should be Girls Trip, which is holding strong after two weeks in theaters. As one of the only comedies currently playing, fans of the genre should be interested to see it, especially as word-of-mouth continues to spread.

#5 - The Emoji Movie

Rounding out the top five should be The Emoji Movie (read our review), which came in second last week with $24.5 million. The animated film was slammed by critics, making it easy to see a sizable drop-off as it enters its second weekend in theaters. Programming for the juice box crowd is in short supply now, but Emoji isn't exactly a favorite that people will rush out to see.

Last Week's Recap

Our Picks:

  • Dunkirk
  • The Emoji Movie
  • Atomic Blonde
  • Girls Trip
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming


  • Dunkirk
  • The Emoji Movie
  • Girls Trip
  • Atomic Blonde
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

Next Week: Annabelle: Creation, and more!

Sources: Box Office Mojo (Release Schedule), Box Office (Opening Weekend Projections)

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