When a towering edifice casts no shadow.
There was a passel of new releases arriving but they led to a soft weekend for returns. Participants with proven success failed to entice ticket buyers, be they Academy Award winners, or the nation’s foremost horror scribe.
Last year at this time “Suicide Squad” was melting down the box office with a massive opening. This week was more like the morning after a main event, a quiet time of sweeping up the debris. Let’s get out the brooms and the leaf-blowers and start collecting all the weekend numbers into a pile.
- THE DARK TOWER — $19.5 million
This adaptation of Stephen King’s epic story has been long labored in Hollywood. The effort to bring it to the screen has been playing out for over ten years, numerous scripts, a revolving door of directors, and no fewer than three different studios — along with television property support. Despite all the struggle, and a hungry fan base for the books, this arrived with surprisingly little interest or passion for the result. This really should be a TV enterprise, or set up with a multi-picture franchise framework. Condensing an epic story with an array of characters into a 90 minute feature will bring about “Jupiter Ascending” results – and nobody wants that.
- DUNKIRK – $17.6m
Remaining strong, as expected, Christopher Nolan continues to only offer up successful quality. This title has now earned a very respectable $300 million globally, and is still going strong.
- THE EMOJI MOVIE – $12.35m
A surprisingly decent second week hold (-50%) considering how it was torched by critics, and even audiences were giving it tepid scores. I guess enough kids still out of school enjoy seeing a walking/talking pile of scat to convince the parents to bring them in. (confused face emoji)
- GIRLS TRIP –$11.41m
Continuing its impressive run there really should be more media hype surrounding this title. Recall when the success of “Bridesmaids” was all anyone would talk about? “Girls” is actually outpacing that film in gross at the same amount of release days.
- KIDNAP – $10.21m
Oscar winner Halle Berry seems to be locked in a cycle of low-budget thrillers made by small start-up studios. This was actually completed 3 years ago, but the funding studio went through economic distress. New distributor bought this for $3million, and could turn a profit off its small investment. Like “Dark Tide”, and “The Call”, this arrives with little fanfare, so it can either be a modest success, or becomes very quickly forgotten.
- SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING – $8.8m
It has been a less than hysterical success for Sony/Marvel, that has not carried the usual press fanaticism. This hero pic comes in with an almost modest blockbuster return. $300million domestic, and $650million global would usually have media tongues wagging.
7. ATOMIC BLONDE – $8.24m
A stylish thriller with Charlize Theron that has not latched on with an audience. Maybe a little more distance from “Baby Driver” was needed, as there proved to be interest in adult-themed action pieces.
- DETROIT – $7.25m
Oscar winning director Katheryn Bigelow addressed the riots in the titular city in 1967. Audiences scored this rather high. However it sports a $40million price tag, and in an effort to court awards attention the promotional budget was nearly as high. For a new studio effort this is going to hurt.
- WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES – $6.0m
As the success here in the States has tapered off the overseas box office has doubled the take, so Fox should be seeing profits off of this once all is finished.
- DESPICABLE ME 3 – $5.28m
These little yellow bastards show there is a profit in being evil. They are approaching $900million globally.