Under siege from poor word of mouth and bad reviews, The Dark Tower made just $7.7 million at the box office on Friday, heading toward an estimated opening weekend of $19 million. The movie might not even manage to beat Dunkirk, in its third weekend, if things get any worse, though it’s currently projected to come out slightly ahead. Dunkirk made $5 million on Friday, and is expected to make $17 million. The Emoji Movie, Girls Trip, and Kidnap are expected to take the remaining top five spots with $13.3 million, $11.5 million, and $10 million respectively.
The Dark Tower’s failure is the most recent in a growing list of disappointing box office performances this year that have plagued theater chains like AMC and caused Chinese investors in Paramount’s film slate to demand that Viacom execs stop making crappy movies that nobody wants to pay to see.
Though The Dark Tower crashing and burning may come as a surprise to some, for world-renowned expert in boxofficology and real person Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms, it was always a statistical probability.
“For every The Shining, Stand By Me, or Shawshank Redemption,” Puffinbottoms explained, “there’s at least one Sleepwalkers, Needful Things, or… what’s that movie with the killer trucks and the AC/DC soundtrack?”
“Maximum Overdrive,” the Professor agreed. “If you find yourself adapting a Stephen King story, there’s a 50% or greater chance that you’re making the next Silver Bullet, and you should consider the consequences of your actions carefully.”
Amongst those consequences, according to Professor Puffinbottoms, is the kind of continued box office slump that “threatens to force Hollywood to question strategies like churning out uninspired reboots of old movies and tv shows, never coming up with any new ideas of their own, and treating any available intellectual property, no matter how banal, as the potential start of a multi-billion dollar shared universe franchise.”
“The fact of the matter is, it was reckless and irresponsible to make a Dark Tower movie at the same time as a television adaptation of The Mist is airing and a remake of It is about to hit theaters in a month,” Professor Puffinbottoms concluded. “Statistically, at least two of them are going to be terrible.”
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