The Dark Tower scales to top of quiet North American box office

Detroit failed to make the box office top five.

The long-awaited film adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower sci-fi thriller series has opened atop the North American box office.

The movie, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, grossed a mediocre $19.5 million (£14.9 million), making it the lowest number one debut of the year (17) so far.

The Dark Tower, which suffered a series of production delays, cost a reported $60 million (£46 million) to make, but bosses at Sony Pictures are convinced the film's audience will only grow in the coming weeks, as its release expands across other global territories.

"The Dark Tower is a bold and ambitious undertaking made at the right price," Adrian Smith, Sony's domestic distribution president, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "There's a lot of summer box office left and its international rollout is just starting to take off."

Despite the slow start, Nikolaj Arcel's project earned enough to narrowly beat Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk to the top. The World War Two epic falls to two with $17.6 million (£13.5 million) after two weeks in first place, but still emerges victorious as it sails past the $300 million (£230 million) mark worldwide.

Animated family film The Emoji Movie takes third place, ahead of comedy Girls Trip at four, while Halle Berry's Kidnap enters at five, with a $10.2 million (£7.8 million) take.

The lackluster weekend box office numbers also didn't fare well for Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit, based on the brutal real-life murders of three young black men at the Algiers Motel during the 1967 riots in Michigan.

The crime drama, which features John Boyega, Will Poulter, and Anthony Mackie, received positive reviews from critics and early viewers alike, but the acclaim has so far failed to translate to commercial success, drawing just $7.25 million (£5.56 million) in its first weekend on wide release to take eighth place.

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