For a movie that has spent more than a decade getting to the big screen, The Dark Tower finally arrived in US cinemas to little fanfare and a disappointing opening weekend.
Earlier forecasts had an opening weekend closer to $25 million; those numbers soon became overly optimistic once the first batch of reviews started to do the rounds. The full figures won't be in for a couple of days, but The Dark Tower took an $7.7 million in the US on Friday, which would give it an estimated launchsomewhere in the $17-$19 million bracket. While it will likely claim the number one spot, it's something of an empty victory for The Dark Tower as the critically mauled movie is meant to kick start a multi-platform franchise.
The laboured process in bringing The Dark Tower to the big screen has been well documented, yet you have to hand it to Sony for not allowing their creative gamble to cost the earth. Made for a modest budget of $60 million, The Dark Tower stands a chance of breaking even, but it does raise doubt over the future of the cinematic franchise.
On the up side, the prequel TV series is still moving forward with freshly appointed showrunner Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead). The series will feature brief appearances from Idris Elba reprising his role as The Gunslinger (aka Roland Deschain) and will be based on the fourth book Wizard and Glass charting the origins of how Deschain became The Gunslinger.
Consolidating the sprawling story into a crowd-pleasing PG-13 rated introduction to this world that runs at just 95-minutes (with credits) can't be done. Newbies will struggle to care about what's going on, and hardcore fans will sit with their head in hands at how this movie wastes its talented leads and promising material. A high-quality prequel series that allows time to explore the rich world King created is a far more suitable format.Stephen King's epic creation is an ideal candidate for the TV treatment and could give Game of Thrones a run for its money in the scope and fantasy department.
Meanwhile, another of Stephen King's iconic works makes its way to cinemas next month with Andres Muschietti's much-hyped remake of IT. In stark contrast to The Dark Tower, IT seems like a faithful adaptation and the trailers thus far have been utterly terrifying.
The Dark Tower is released in UK cinemas on August 18, and IT follows on September 8.