Box Office: 'The Dark Tower' Takes the Lead as Sluggish Weekend Kicks Off

THE DARK TOWER - Still 8  - Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Halle Berry starrer 'Kidnap' and Kathryn Bigelow's 'Detroit' are trailing behind holdovers 'Dunkirk,' 'Emoji Movie' and 'Girls Trip.'

The summer slow-down at the domestic box office is very much in full effect this weekend. As Friday estimates begin to trickle in, it seems audiences aren't scaling The Dark Tower, Sony and MRC's adaptation of the Stephen King fantasy novels, with as much enthusiasm as the tracking had predicted. The film is heading towards a $6.5 million take (including $1.8 million in Thursday previews) for Friday on its way to a weekend domestic debut of $17 million to $18 million.

The would put Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, slightly below box office insider's estimates of $20 million (but in line with Sony's estimates in the high teens). The film, which cost $60 million to make, should still land No. 1 for the weekend ahead of holdover Dunkirk, which is expected to take in around $15 million this weekend.

In the film, Elba plays a gunslinger who is determined to hunt down his nemesis, the Man in Black (McConaughey), and protect the Dark Tower, a powerful structure that protects the world from darkness.

This weekend's other two new wide releases -- Halle Berry starrer Kidnap and Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit -- are also off to sluggish starts, and appear headed to debut below holdovers Dunkirk, Emoji Movie and Girls Trip for the weekend.

Kidnap and Detroit will end up being in a much closer race that initially expected.

Kidnap an indie action pic starring that was originally set to be released by Relativity Media, is heading toward a Friday tally of around $4 million (including $500K in previews) and a weekend cume in the $8 million to $10 million range. The project, about a mother who will stop at nothing to get her kidnapped son back, is being handled by David Dinerstein's new distribution outfit, Aviron. Luis Prieto directed the film.

Detroit, Bigelow's latest, will earn around $3 million Friday ($525K in previews) for a weekend tally of $8 million to $9 million. That will put Detroit, expanding into more than 2,800 theaters after opening in select theaters last weekend, behind its tracking, which initially had it earning in the $13 million range.

The first release from Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures under its own distribution label, the film recounts the Detroit riots of 1967. It  stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, Jack Reynor and Anthony Mackie. The script was written by Bigelow’s longtime collaborator Mark Boal.