LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Sony's sci-fi production The Dark Tower led ticket sales in North American theatres this weekend, but its estimated three-day take of a modest US$19.5 million ($26.5 million) fell on a notably sluggish August weekend.
Tower, co-produced by independent film studio MRC, had the lowest box-office-leading weekend take of the year, HollywoodReporter.com noted.
The film, based on a series of best-selling novels by horror and fantasy master Stephen King, stars Tom Taylor as a boy who finds himself in another dimension where a gunslinger (Idris Elba) helps him try to save the world from enemies including a Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). The film garners a paltry 18 per cent approval on the Rotten Tomatoes review site.
Second in the box-office race was war movie Dunkirk, slipping from the No 1 spot it occupied at its opening a week earlier. The Warner Bros film had a three-day take of US$17.6 million, according to industry website Exhibitor Relations.
Starring One Direction singer Harry Styles in the retelling of the heroic 1940 evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from a beach in northern France, "Dunkirk" has been hailed by many critics as a masterpiece.
In third spot was Sony's The Emoji Movie, a computer-animated comedy based on - yes - those expressive little symbols on cell phones. With an all-star voicing cast including James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Christina Aguilera and Sofia Vergara, the movie netted US$12.4 million - not so bad for a film that scores a dismal 7 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fourth place went to Girls Trip from Universal, at US$11.4 million. The raunchy comedy, about the misadventures of a group of lifelong friends who travel to New Orleans for a music festival, stars Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith.
In fifth was Aviron's thriller Kidnap, at US$10.2 million. Halle Berry plays a mother who will do anything to get her kidnapped son back.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Spider-Man: Homecoming (US$8.8 million) Atomic Blonde (US$8.2 million) Detroit (US$7.2 million) War for the Planet of the Apes (US$6.0 million Despicable Me 3 (US$5.3 million).