It was the worst weekend at the US box office so far this summer

The Gunslinger couldn’t save it.
The Gunslinger couldn’t save it.
Image: Sony Pictures Entertainment
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Poor reviews may have claimed another would-be Hollywood blockbuster.

The Dark Tower, which scored a mere 18% on the movie-review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and a 35 out of 100 on Metacritic, couldn’t even crack $20 million domestically during its debut weekend.

The film, which cost $60 million to make and has been in the works for about a decade, led the worst weekend at the box office yet this summer. The US and Canadian box office brought in a mere $123 million over the weekend, 46% less than the comparable period a year ago, when Suicide Squad was released, ComScore estimates.

During a season when bad and boring sequels, reboots, and other films, the US box office is down nearly 11% to date this summer, which runs from the first Friday in May through the Labor Day weekend. For the year, it’s down 3%, compared to an increase of 3% at the worldwide box office, ComScore estimated.

Hollywood is feeling this weekend’s underperformance especially hard as China, a market it turns to to shore up growth, is in the midst of its usual, late-summer ban on foreign films. This weekend, a local, patriotic action film, Wolf Warriors II, beat out Hollywood’s The Fate of the Furious to become the highest-grossing film in China this year, and the second highest-grossing overall, behind another local movie, The Mermaid.

China’s box-office is smaller than the US’s with nearly $5 billion in returns through Aug. 6, ComScore estimated. And growth has waned there, too. The region’s box office is up % this year, compared to 3.7% and 48% growth in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Back in the US, there aren’t many other big movies for US theatergoers to look forward to during the dog days of summer. August tends to be a dumping ground for popcorn flicks studios are less certain about. Next weekend brings the US premieres of the horror movie Annabelle: Creation, the come-of-age memoir adaptation The Glass Castle, and the animated Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, followed by Steven Soderbergh’s Lucky Logan and others like The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Update (2:30pm ET): This story was updated with the latest figures for the Chinese and global box offices, from ComScore.