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The Dark Tower lands US top spot with lowest No.1 of 2017

The Dark Tower

Story by Jack Foley

THE Dark Tower, a film designed to launch a new franchise based on Stephen King’s fantasy novel series, has landed the top spot at the US box office but with the lowest No.1 opening of the year so far.

The film, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, took just an estimated $19.5 million, only narrowly ahead of Christopher Nolan’s holdover Dunkirk, which took in another $17.6 million in its third weekend of release to bring its US total to $133.6 million.

Returning to The Dark Tower, which cost an estimated $60 million to produce, the film finds Elba playing a gunslinger who is determined to hunt down his nemesis, the Man in Black (played McConaughey), and protect the Dark Tower, a powerful structure that protects the world from darkness.

Going into the weekend, Sony had been hoping to set a record for a Stephen King adaptation, with $19.5 million. But it came up just short.

The current record remains 1408, which opened to $20.6 million in 2007.

Commenting on the figures, Sony domestic distribution president Adrian Smith said: “The Dark Tower is a bold and ambitious undertaking made at the right price.”

He went on to predict that the film will find its legs because “there’s a lot of summer box office left and its international rollout is just starting to take off”.

Elsewhere at the US box office, the weekend’s other two new wide releases Kidnap and Detroit both debuted below holdovers Dunkirk, The Emoji Movie and Girls Trip.

Kathyrn Bigelow’s race drama Detroit had the most attention, given that it marked the director’s first film since Zero Dark Thirty.

Set during the Detroit riots of 1967, the film features an ensemble cast that includes British stars John Boyega and Will Poulter, and was written by Bigelow’s long-time collaborator Mark Boal.

But the $40 million film managed just $7.25 million upon getting a wider release, despite widespread critical acclaim.

Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, by way of comparison, took in $32.9 million but benefitted from a slower rollout across independent cinemas and the buzz generated by Oscar nominations.

Kidnap, meanwhile, pulled in $10.2 million for the weekend. The film, directed by Luis Prieto, follows a mother (played by Halle Berry) who will stop at nothing to get her kidnapped son back.

In other box office news, Warners’ “Wonder Woman”: took in $2.36 million to bring its US total to $399.5 million – the second-best US-grossing movie of the year, behind only Disney’s Beauty & The Beast ($504 million).

Next story: James Gunn talks Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 and life beyond Groot