Box Office: ANNABELLE conjures up $35M for weekend win!

ANNABELLE: CREATION will be at the top at the box office by the time Monday rolls around, according to estimates that have it coming in with some $35 million domestically. There’s a wide margin between the horror sequel and Christopher Nolan‘s DUNKIRK, which will take the second spot with $11.4 million, pushing the war epic across $150 million stateside. And yet, like THE DARK TOWER, I would expect ANNABELLE to drop considerably next weekend, while DUNKIRK will likely stay relatively close to the top.

THE DARK TOWER is holding in the fourth spot after a 59% drop at the box office, coming in with $7.8 million, pushing this empty Stephen King adaptation across the $30 million mark off of a $60 million budget. This is perhaps even worse news than it might appear. Unlike, say, THE MUMMY or the latest TRANSFORMERS movie, THE DARK TOWER will not be saved by foreign distribution — it has made around $9 million in total overseas. Like both of those movies, however, it’s got a lot more than just the possibility of a single sequel riding on its box office performance. There’s a whole TV series that’s supposedly going to broaden the scope and world of this fiasco, and there’s been little talk thus far about how this movie’s poor showing weights on these plans. If the creators of this film go ahead with any of these plans, it would constitute one of the most wanton and unwise gambles in the movie or TV industry that I’ve seen in a long while.

Still, it’s not like THE DARK TOWER is the only movie in trouble in the top five. THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE, a mundane sequel to an intolerable movie, will place in third this weekend with $8.9 million. That would give the animated sequel the distinctly dubious honor of having the worst opening for a film opening in over 4,000 theaters ever. Not surprisingly, the last movie to hold that honor was THE EMOJI MOVIE, which was able to pull out a victory over Malcolm D. Lee‘s GIRLS TRIP to land in the fifth spot with $6.5 million, whereas Lee’s film made its graceful exit from the top five to arrive in sixth place.

Like ANNABELLE: CREATION, GIRLS TRIP was budgeted at less than $20 million, made back its budget and marketing costs, and turned an enviable profit for its studio (Universal) relatively quickly, and it’s still got the home video market to look forward to in the near future. In contrast, no amount of home video enthusiasm will be able to save THE DARK TOWER, a movie that offends fans of the source material and fans of the moviegoing experience equally. Mind you, THE DARK TOWER was made on a budget that would encapsulate the cost of making GIRLS TRIP, ANNABELLE: CREATION, GET OUT, and SPLIT with some $12 million to spare before marketing. Just in terms of domestic gross, those four movies will make close to $500 million cumulatively by the end of 2017, while THE DARK TOWER will likely still be far from simply breaking even.

Here’s your top five for the weekend:

1. ‘Annabelle: Creation’ $35.04M
2. ‘Dunkirk’ $11.4M
3. ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ $8.93M
4. ‘The Dark Tower’ $7.87M
5. ‘The Emoji Movie’ $6.58M

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