This past weekend, “The Dark Tower” took in $19.5 million in its opening, the lowest No. 1 total since a third-week “Split” took the top spot with $14 million back in February, and the lowest No. 1 opening since the $13.3 million made by “Chappie” in March 2015. That means that the top spot at the box office is wide open, and Warner Bros./New Line’s horror film “Annabelle: Creation” is looking to take that spot.
Independent trackers have the “Annabelle” prequel making $27-30 million from 3,502 screens this weekend, with WB projecting slightly lower at $25 million. The film is in position to make a solid profit with a production budget of $15 million and a lack of competition in the horror market until the release of “It,” another WB release produced by New Line. As Blumhouse has demonstrated, low-budget horror is proving to be a low-risk/high-reward genre that’s performing well at the box office, and Warner Bros. will be looking to reap its potential in the coming weeks with this installment in James Wan’s “Conjuring” franchise and a remake of one of the most famous Stephen King adaptations. The first “Annabelle,” which was released in October 2014, made Halloween bucks with a $37.1 million opening against a $6.5 million budget. It went on to gross $84 million domestic and $256.8 million worldwide.
“Annabelle: Creation” follows up on the first “Annabelle” by showing the origins of the titular evil doll as it terrorizes a group of orphaned girls who take shelter in the house of the doll’s creator. The film is directed by David F. Sandberg from a script by Gary Dauberman, with James Wan and Peter Safran producing.
Also in wide release this week is Open Road’s “The Nut Job 2,” which is projecting for a $15-17 million opening from 4,003 screens. Studio projections are set at $12-13 million. The first “Nut Job” was panned by critics in 2014 with a 10 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a score for this sequel has yet to be entered. The film stars Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, and Maya Rudolph. Cal Brunker directed the film and co-wrote it with Bob Barlen and Scott Bindley. Barlen, Harry Linden, and Sunghwan Kim are producers.
Finally, there’s Lionsgate’s “The Glass Castle,” which is getting a targeted release of 1,400 screens and is projecting for an opening of around $5 million. Based on the best-selling memoirs of Jeannette Walls, the film stars Brie Larson as the author as she struggles to form her own life for herself while growing up in poverty with an alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) and an eccentric mother (Naomi Watts). Destin Daniel Cretton is directing from a script he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham and Marti Noxon. Gil Netter and Ken Kao are producers.
NOTE: A previous version of this story noted that “The Dark Tower” had the lowest No. 1 total of 2017. This has been corrected.