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‘Dark Tower’ dethrones ‘Dunkirk’ at box office

Idris Elba in a scene from "The Dark Tower."
Ilze Kitshoff/Columbia Pictures/Sony/AP
Idris Elba in a scene from "The Dark Tower."

After a decade of development and several postponements, the long-awaited Stephen King adaptation ‘‘The Dark Tower’’ debuted with an estimated $19.5 million in North American ticket sales, narrowly edging out the two-week leader ‘‘Dunkirk.’’

The so-so result for ‘‘The Dark Tower,’’ starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, was in line with expectations heading into the weekend but well shy of initial hopes for a possible franchise-starter.

Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic ‘‘Dunkirk’’ slid to second with $17.6 million in its third week. It’s now made $133.6 million domestically. Other holdovers — ‘‘The Emoji Movie’’ ($12.4 million in its second week) and ‘‘Girls Trip’’ ($11.4 million in its third week) followed.


Another long-delayed film also made its debut. The Halle Berry thriller ‘‘Kidnap’’ opened with $10.2 million. The film, styled after the Liam Neeson ‘‘Taken’’ series,’’ was released by the new distributor Aviron Pictures after it bought the North American rights from Relativity. Before entering bankruptcy, Relativity had scheduled the film’s release for 2015.

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The week’s other new wide release was the Kathryn Bigelow-directed docudrama ‘‘Detroit,’’ also the first release for an upstart distributor.

The Boston-shot film, from Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, debuted with a disappointing $7.3 million after a limited release last week.

‘‘Detroit’’ is the third collaboration between Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (“The Hurt Locker,’’ “Zero Dark Thirty”).