‘Dark Tower’ for the win

Sonaiya Kelley
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The long-awaited sci-fi-western “The Dark Tower,” from Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital, shot straight to No. 1 at the box office, unseating Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.”

“The Dark Tower,” based on a Stephen King fantasy series, opened to an estimated $19.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, in line with studio projections of $19 million and just short of analysts’ projections of $20 million to $25 million.

“‘Dark Tower’ was an ambitious and bold undertaking, and it was made at the right price,” said Adrian Smith, the studio’s distribution chief. “We’re looking forward, as there’s a lot of summer left. Our international roll-out is just starting to take off.”

Starring Idris Elba as nomadic gunslinger Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as his nemesis, the Man in Black, the movie opened to generally poor reviews. Filmgoers (58 percent male, 42 percent female, and 58 percent over age 25) gave it a B grade from CinemaScore, compared to the 18 percent positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Top five: “Dunkirk,” Warner Bros.’ World War II drama, dropped to second place with $17.6 million. Its 34 percent drop from last weekend was among the smallest in the top 10.

“Dunkirk” grosses have been bolstered by powerful reviews and widespread interest in Nolan’s rendering of the mission to rescue Allied soldiers as German forces closed in.

Coming in third was Sony’s computer-generated comedy “The Emoji Movie,” with $12.4 million.

Universal’s R-rated ensemble comedy “Girls Trip” was fourth, with $11.4 million.

Rounding out the top five was Aviron’s Halle Berry-led thriller “Kidnap,” which debuted to $10.2 million, just above its modest $8 million projection. Starring Berry as a single mother on a mission to save her abducted son, the movie faced its own high-stakes drama in 2015 when it became engulfed in Relativity Media’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The film, directed by Luis Prieto, suffered multiple delays before the producers took it to Aviron Pictures.

Releases: Meanwhile, the wide release of “Detroit,” the latest from Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”), came in with $7.3 million, under analysts’ expectations of $10 million to $15 million.

The Annapurna Pictures-distributed movie, which centers on civil unrest in Detroit in 1967, increased to 3,000 screens over the weekend after a limited release on 20 the week previous. Reviews have been positive, with a 95 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes for the film starring John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith and Anthony Mackie.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s “Step” took in $145,000 across 29 locations in its first weekend. The documentary chronicles a high school step dance team in Baltimore. “Step” received a 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and will add 24 cities this week.

Weinstein Co.’s “Wind River” opened in four locations, taking in $164,167. The murder mystery, which was directed by Taylor Sheridan, is set on an Indian reservation in Wyoming and stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.

Coming this week are Warner Bros.’ horror prequel “Annabelle: Creation,” Open Road Films’ indie animated sequel “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature,” and Lionsgate’s drama “The Glass Castle,” an adaptation of the memoir by Jeannette Walls.