The Dark Tower headed for $20 million opening weekend

The Dark Tower may have received mostly negative reviews, but it is still projected to do big business at the box office this weekend. According to Variety, estimates put the film in the low $20 million range, a figure which should be good to unseat Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk for first place.

The Dark Tower follows Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger whose eternal task is to fight against the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). The Man in Black is determined to topple the Dark Tower to unleash chaos on the universe, leaving Roland, alongside a young boy with psychic powers (Tom Taylor) to stop him and save the worlds. The film, which reportedly had a troubled road to the big screen, is based on the Stephen King series of the same name.

The movie has gotten mostly negative reviews from critics in early screenings, with many saying that it failed to sell the complex world-building shown in King's novels. It is possible that the negative reviews could push the film's box office haul down further, as they have done for many a movie this summer, but as The Emoji Movie showed, you can never completely discount a film just because of its Rotten Tomatoes score. 

While an opening as low as projected would be a very bad sign for many a Hollywood blockbuster, for The Dark Tower, it is fairly respectable. This is mostly due to the film's budget, which falls at just $60 million, far below most big screen action endeavors. The decision to keep the budget that tight may turn out to have been very smart for the studio, as many films have been struggling domestically in a languid summer box office.

This weekend will also see the wide release of Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit, a social thriller starring John Boyega and Anthony Mackie. The film dramatizes the true story of the Algiers Motel Incident, in which three young black men were killed by police amidst riots in the titular city during the summer of 1967. The movie is looking to earn somewhere in the $10 to $15 range, although early awards season buzz could help up that number.

The last wide release for the weekend, the Halle Berry-starring Kidnap, gives the actress her Taken moment as she plays a mom on a mission to get her son back. The movie has fallen victim to quite a few release date delays over the years, with the film initially set to hit theaters in 2015. Despite the wait, the movie is projected to earn around $8 million, although it could capitalize on its positive reviews to push it even further.

This weekend will also provide another test for The Emoji Movie, the critically-panned winner of last weekend's box office. The film will have to prove whether or not it has the legs to last despite its negative reception. It will once again face off against Nolan's Dunkirk, still a strong contender, and the R-rated comedy Girl's Trip, which showed an impressive hold in its second week after a surprisingly strong opening. Charlize Theron's Atomic Blonde also remains in the mix for the top ten, despite an underwhelming opening.

While we wait to see whether The Dark Tower will be able to topple the box office competition, see the untold truth of the stories on which the film is based.