Tag Archives: The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower Movie Review

Stephen King fans have been eagerly awaiting his series of Dark Tower novels arriving on the big screen. Most of his other heralded works have already made it before the cameras and some of them in multiple iterations. The challenge with bringing forth this particular series is said to be the dense nature of its material. And now that we have a cinematic version of The Dark Tower, I can report a number of decisions made in making it happen are indeed dense. That’s definitely not a compliment.

The picture is an abridged and often aimless experience begging for more backstory and clarity. It’s led by uninspired performances and routine shoot-em-up interruptions. Tom Taylor stars as Jake, a New York City preteen who has vivid dreams about a Man in Black trying to destroy Earth and a gunslinger trying to stop him. Jake’s family and friends think he’s coo coo, but the kid has some legit psychic power. There is a Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) otherwise known as Walter and he is trying to take over Earth’s domain and the domains of unseen others. There is a gunslinger (Idris Elba) otherwise known as Roland and he teams up with Jake to stop the apocalypse. They also share some Daddy issues.

What follows is a bit of a head scratcher. The Dark Tower hints at a much larger universe that at least sounds kinda interesting. Yet it’s not shown. It suggests a potentially action packed past for Roland, but that’s it. I get that the idea of the movie is to set up future chapters, but it’s hard to anticipate further ones when the first is so unfulfilling.

Taylor’s lead performance is rather dull. Elba has a physical presence, but there’s no meat on the bones of what should be a far more captivating figure. McConaughey can be a terrific actor, but that’s not what we witness. His Man in Black is meant (I think) to be a scary one. McConaughey doesn’t seem to get that. His level of menace displayed here is about equal to his Lincoln commercial work.

The Dark Tower has a 95 minute length that suggests even its makers knew they had a losing hand. It represents a limp start for a building of worlds. And it’s one that may never seen the light because this fails to get it off the ground.

*1/2 (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: August 18-20

Mid August at the box office comes with some star power as two new pictures open competing for the same audience: Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Steven Soderbergh’s heist action comedy Logan Lucky with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/09/the-hitmans-bodyguard-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/09/logan-lucky-box-office-prediction/

The newbies could find themselves in a battle for the #1 spot. Lucky is winning on the reviews side with a terrific 96% on Rotten Tomatoes while Bodyguard stands at 55%. However, my inkling is that Mr. Reynolds will edge out Mr. Tatum with a gross in the mid to higher teens with Lucky in the lower teens.

There’s also the matter of Annabelle: Creation, which got off to a strong start this past weekend (more on that below). If Bodyguard and Lucky both underwhelm, the demonic doll has a slight chance to repeat at #1. However, the horror prequel is likely to suffer a drop in the mid to high 50s. If it all pans out as I see it, we will have our fourth weekend of 2017 where no movie manages to top $20 million.

The rest of the top five should be filled out by holdovers Dunkirk and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature in its second frame after a weak start.

Lastly, the Taylor Sheridan directed thriller Wind River with Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen is slated to expand to approximately 600-700 screens. It’s been performing well with critics and in limited release. If that screen count holds true, I’d peg it at $3.1 million this weekend.

And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend:

1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Predicted Gross: $16.7 million

2. Annabelle: Creation

Predicted Gross: $14.6 million (representing a drop of 58%)

3. Logan Lucky

Predicted Gross: $10.5 million

4. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $7 million (representing a drop of 36%)

5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million (representing a drop of 46%)

Box Office Results (August 11-13)

Annabelle: Creation scared up some solid business taking in $35 million (beating my $31.4M forecast) to easily place #1. The horror prequel fell just shy of the $37.1 million accomplished by its 2014 predecessor and keeps the Conjuring universe chugging right along.

Dunkirk remained in second with $10.8 million (I was a touch higher at $11.7M). It’s made $153M thus far.

Family audiences largely rejected The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, which debuted in third to just $8.3 million (under my $12.2M prediction). The sequel made less than half of the $19 million achieved out of the gate by the 2014 original. Opening on over 4000 screens, it had a per screen average of just over $2,000. On the bright side, parents who did take their kids to see it probably had plenty of room to roam about the theater. Ouch.

The Dark Tower went from first to fourth with $7.8 million (I said $7.6M). bringing its lackluster two-week tally to only $34M.

Girls Trip placed fifth with $6.4 million (I projected $7.2M) as it stands at $97M and should cross the century mark this week.

The Emoji Movie was #6, also with $6.4 million (I said $6M) for a $63M total.

Finally, Brie Larson drama The Glass Castle had a respectable debut in ninth with $4.6 million (I was close at $4.2M). On a relatively small 1400+ screens, it actually achieved the second highest per screen average of the top ten.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: August 11-13

August rolled in like a lamb at the box office and three new releases this weekend will try and pick things up: horror prequel Annabelle: Creation, animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, and Brie Larson led drama The Glass Castle. You can peruse my detailed individual prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/02/annabelle-creation-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/02/the-nut-job-2-nutty-by-nature-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/03/the-glass-castle-box-office-prediction/

Annabelle has received significantly better reviews than its predecessor, yet I still question its ability to open above it (the original was coming hot on the heels of The Conjuring). Still, my estimate for Creation has it easily topping the charts in the low 30s.

My lower teens estimate for Nutty by Nature (yeah you know me) should be good enough for second place considering expectations for holdovers and the weak debut of current #1 The Dark Tower (more on its opening below).

As for The Glass Castle, the current theater count is 1400 which is pretty low. Even though it’s based on a popular book from 2005, the marketing campaign seems rather quiet and I’ve got it outside the top five at $4.2 million. Note that this number could be revised up (and maybe down though doubtful) as the week rolls along.

Dunkirk may just fall one spot to third with Tower dropping to fourth. The five spot could be a battle between The Emoji Movie and Girls Trip. And with that, we’ll do a top 6 projections for this particular weekend:

1. Annabelle: Creation

Predicted Gross: $31.4 million

2. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Predicted Gross: $12.2 million

3. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $11.7 million (representing a drop of 31%)

4. The Dark Tower

Predicted Gross: $7.6 million (representing a drop of 60%)

5. Girls Trip

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million (representing a drop of 37%)

6. The Emoji Movie

Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 50%)

Box Office Results (August 4-6)

The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower experienced four revisions down from my original prediction post which put it in the mid 30s (that seems like a long time ago). It soon became clear the pic wasn’t going to perform too well and that bore out with $19.1 million (my final prediction was $18.4M). That’s still good for first place, but it’s a pretty darn soft debut. Poor reviews and word-of-mouth took its toll. This was only the third weekend of the year (and first of the summer) to feature a #1 movie performing under $20M (though I’d anticipate more later in the month).

Dunkirk dropped to second after two weeks on top with $17.1 million (ahead of my predicted $15.5M) for a total of $133M.

The Emoji Movie was third in its sophomore frame with $12 million (I said $11.4M) to bring its two-week tally to $49M.

Girls Trip took the four spot with $11.4 million, a bit shy of my $12.9M projection to bring the sleeper hit’s total to $85M.

The Halle Berry thriller Kidnap had a decent little opening in fifth with $10 million, easily outpacing my $6.8M projection. Its double digit debut was certainly on the higher end of expectations.

For Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, its performance was underwhelming. Despite very positive reviews, the 1960s set racial drama placed 8th with just $7.1 million compared to my $11.6M forecast.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: August 4-6

Blogger’s Note (08/03): On eve of debut, revising Dark Tower down significantly

The month of August begins at the box office with three new releases hitting multiplexes: the long in the works Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Bigelow’s 1960s set racial drama Detroit, and Halle Berry’s oft delayed thriller Kidnap. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/the-dark-tower-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/detroit-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/kidnap-box-office-prediction/

Over the past week, I have considerably revised my Dark Tower estimate down from a mid 30s debut to now mid 20s. That should be enough to get it to #1, however.

Detroit is garnering highly positive reviews and could certainly over perform, but I’ve got it pegged in the low double digits with a likelihood it plays well through the month. That might be good for anywhere between third and fifth – depending on holdover activity for Emoji Movie and Girls Trip. 

Kidnap could surprise (no one thought Berry’s The Call would do the business it did), but I’m not projecting much for it. My $6.8M estimate puts it outside the top five.

As for holdovers, Dunkirk should slide to second after two weeks on top. Animated movies typically suffer smallish drops in their sophomore weekend, but The Emoji Movie could be an exception to the rule after its dismal reviews and so-so B Cinemascore grade. Girls Trip should continue to impress in week #3.

And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend ahead:

1. The Dark Tower

Predicted Gross: $18.4 million

2. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million (representing a drop of 42%)

3. Girls Trip 

Predicted Gross: $12.9 million (representing a drop of 34%)

4. Detroit

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. The Emoji Movie

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million (representing a drop of 54%)

 

Box Office Results (July 28-30)

Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dunkirk was the first pic since Wonder Woman to stay atop the charts for two weeks in a row as it grossed $26.6 million (under my $32.8M projection) for a two-week total of $101 million.

The Emoji Movie settled for second place with $24.5 million, a bit below my $28.4M forecast. As mentioned, poor reviews and word-of-mouth could keep this from performing well in subsequent weekends.

Girls Trip continued its fantastic run as the comedy of the summer with $19.6 million compared to my $17.3M estimate. Its earned $65 million thus far with the century mark firmly in its sights.

Charlize Theron’s spy thriller Atomic Blonde did rather underwhelming business with $18.2 million, on target with my $18.6M prediction. Mostly solid reviews couldn’t keep this from a mediocre start.

Spider-Man: Homecoming rounded out the top five with $13.2 million (I said $12M) for a $278M overall tally.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

The Dark Tower Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (08/03): Welp, the revising down continues on the eve of debut to $18.4 million

Blogger’s Note II (07/31): My estimate for The Dark Tower continues to trend downward. I am now revising down to $24.4 million for opening weekend.

Blogger’s Note (07/28): Just a day after posting my $34.6 million estimate, I’m beginning to sour a bit on the opening weekend. I’m revising down to $27.6 million and we’ll see if it continues to trend downward.

Stephen King’s acclaimed book series finally gets the big screen treatment when Nikolaj Arcel’s The Dark Tower debuts next weekend. The author eight novels combining elements of science fiction, horror, action, fantasy, and western themes first hit bookshelves 35 years ago, so there’s been decades of anticipation from its fans to see its adaptation. Idris Elba headlines as hero The Gunslinger with Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black. Costars include Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Jackie Earle Haley, and Dennis Haysbert.

The release of The Dark Tower represents a bit of Stephen King renaissance at the box office as the long-awaited It opens in September. It’s been a while since two high-profile projects from the legendary writer have been teed up for release. A planned follow-up TV series (with Elba) is planned for later. Tower was produced for a reported $60 million (a relatively modest budget as summer flicks go).

It will be fascinating to see just how devoted the fan base is for this. As I see it, the opening could range anywhere from mid 20s to maybe mid 40s on the high end. Even though it’s not a totally fair comp (though genre mash-up elements are in common), I could see this debuting similarly to 2011’s Cowboys & Aliens, which started with $36 million at the same late July/early August time frame. From that same summer six years ago, Super 8 and its $35 million opening could be the same ballpark as well.

The Dark Tower opening weekend prediction: $18.4 million (REVISED PREDICTION)

For my Detroit prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/detroit-box-office-prediction/

For my Kidnap prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/26/kidnap-box-office-prediction/

17 For ’17: Todd’s Most Anticipated Movies of the Year

Happy New Year y’all and hope you’re enjoying your first day of 2017!

For my inaugural post of the year, I’m giving you 17 of my eagerly awaited pictures hitting screens this year. They’re listed alphabetically and represent some circles on the calendar for yours truly.

Here’s to a great year at the movies!h

Alien: Covenant

Release Date: May 19

The sixth installment of the Alien franchise is a sequel to 2013’s Prometheus, which received a deserved mixed reaction. Ridley Scott is back behind the director’s chair with Michael Fassbender returning and Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBride among the supporting players. There is also expected to be an alien involved.

All Eyez on Me

Release Date: June 16

Benny Boom is known for directing many well-known hip hop videos, but this feature tells the tale of one of America’s finest rappers – Tupac Shakur. Newcomer Demetrius Shipp, Jr. plays the late performer.

Beauty and the Beast

Release Date: March 17

Disney has found tremendous success with their live-action remakes of animated classics and this reworking of the 1991 Best Picture nominee is likely to follow suit. Bill Condon directs with Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast.

Blade Runner 2049

Release Date: October 6

Arriving 35 years after Ridley Scott’s heralded science fiction experience, Arrival director Denis Villeneuve brings back this noirish world with Harrison Ford back as Deckard alongside Ryan Gosling.

A Cure for Wellness

Release Date: February 17

Talented director Gore Verbinski has made some impressive pics – The Ring and the first Pirates of the Caribbean among them. He’s also had some not so impressive ones, including the Pirates sequels and The Lone Ranger. This psychological horror thriller looks like it could be a return to form.

The Dark Tower

Release Date: July 28

For many years, a number of filmmakers have attempted to bring Stephen King’s novel to the screen. It’s finally happened with Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba starring.

NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Dunkirk

Release Date: July 21

Anything from Christopher Nolan has earned our anticipation and so it goes with this World War II effort featuring Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh.

Ghost in the Shell

Release Date: March 31

Based on the wildly popular Japanese comic book series, Scarlett Johansson headlines the sci-fi action thriller.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release Date: May 5

Summer ’17 kicks off with Star Lord, Rocket, and Lil Groot back on screen after their acclaimed first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014.

Justice League

Release Date: November 17

Speaking of superheroes, DC has Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot – who has her own stand-alone pic this summer), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and the Flash (Ezra Miller) joining forces.

Kong: Skull Island

Release Date: March 10

The giant ape is back for the first time in 12 years in this 1970s set blockbuster hopeful boasting a first-rate cast that includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly.

Logan

Release Date: March 3

17 years after first creating his signature role, Hugh Jackman is Wolverine for (apparently) the final time.

The Mummy

Release Date: June 9

The Universal monsters reassemble in this reboot that stars Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, and lotsa hopefully cool CG.

Murder on the Orient Express

Release Date: November 22

This property based on the Agatha Christie Book was adapted successfully in the mid 70s by director Sidney Lumet. This time around, Kenneth Branagh is behind the camera with an all-star cast that includes Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Michael Pena and Michelle Pfeiffer.

NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

SpiderMan: Homecoming

Release Date: July 7

After making a nice impression in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland is the third actor to portray the title superhero. Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark costar.

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Release Date: December 15

The still untitled follow-up to The Force Awakens is pretty much unquestionably going to be 2017’s highest earner. Expect considerably more screen time for Mark Hamill’s Luke and sadly, Carrie Fisher’s final screen appearance as Leia.

NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

War for the Planet of the Apes

Release Date: July 14

Kong isn’t the only big-budget monkey business happening onscreen as the third installment of this franchise finds Andy Serkis’s Caesar returning and Woody Harrelson joining the mix.