Box-Office Preview: 'Dark Tower' Hopes to Dominate the Dog Days of August

Elsewhere, Kathryn Bigelow's 'Detroit' expands nationwide, while Halle Berry's 'Kidnap' finally hits the big screen; Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Sequel' makes a major push at the specialty box office.

The long-gestating film adaptation of Stephen King's sci-fi fantasy book series The Dark Tower shouldn't have trouble topping the North American box-office chart this weekend, even if its debut is relatively modest.

From Sony and MRC, the $60 million movie is projected to gross in the low $20 million range. Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, will begin playing in 2,750 theaters on Thursday evening before expanding to a total of 3,449 locations on Friday.

Sony is confident the film will have a strong run, although it may not be able to reverse the downturn at the North American summer box office, where revenue is running 8 percent behind the same period last year. (On the same weekend in 2016, Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad opened to a massive $133.7 million.)

The adaptation stars Elba as a gunslinger determined to protect the Dark Tower from a slew of enemies, including his nemesis, the Man in Black (McConaughey).

The weekend's two other new nationwide offerings are Kathryn Bigelow's period drama Detroit, which expands into more than 2,800 theaters after opening in select theaters last weekend, and Kidnap, an indie action pic starring Halle Berry that was originally set to be released by Relativity Media.

Detroit is tracking to earn in the $13 million range. The film, recounting the Detroit riots of 1967, is the first title from Megan Ellison's new indie studio Annapurna Pictures.

Kidnap is projected to open in the $8 million range. David Dinerstein's new distribution outfit, Aviron, is handling the title.

At the specialty box office, Al Gore's new climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, expands into roughly 100 theaters after launching in New York and Los Angeles last weekend. Paramount and Participant Media partnered on the follow-up to 2006's An Inconvenient Truth.

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