Things were looking pretty sweet for The Dark Tower, and it was about time, too. With a troubled history spent in development hell, the Stephen King adaptation finally seemed to be righting the ship and came together, targeting a January 2017 release date. But then the film was bumped to February, then July, and even the trailer that was supposed to be dropped last year has MIA. Just when things didn't seem like they could get any more complicated, a new delay has pushed the film back yet another week. The reason is pretty interesting; Sony says it wants to hold the movie to help the The Emoji Movie for another week of summer break box office.
To make this a bit clearer, reportedly, Sony pushed director Nikolaj Arcel's first installment in The Dark Tower saga into August in the name of taking advantage of some extra time in the children's box office before the less kid-dependent month kicked in. So, in theory, the little ones can get their fill of their favorite emojis and the adventures they'll go on in The Emoji Movie, with the following week bringing Idris Elba's Roland the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey's Man In Black into theaters for the more grown-up crowd to enjoy.
This is only the latest shake up to Sony's box office calendar, as announced earlier this week that the SXSW acclaimed Baby Driver was being taken out of its August 11th release date and slotted into the cherry June 28th spot on the schedule. Looking at this in hindsight, this was the perfect move for Sony to make, as The Dark Tower and Baby Driver are both aimed at overlapping, if not completely similar, demographics of viewership. With only a week between the two, Sony was shooting the chance of success for both films in the foot. Now, with Baby Driver providing some cover before Spider-Man: Homecoming's July hype revs up, and The Emoji Movie now taking the end of July, Sony seems to have set itself up for summer success. And, despite all the scheduling changes, EW reports that Sony will not be moving The Dark Tower's date again.
While The Emoji Movie and The Dark Tower could never really compete with each other in an audience sense, Sony may be doubling down on the box office dollars because kids movies tend to have legs. While the company is still making money with its emojis, Sony should eventually make money off of hardcore Stephen King fans, too thus pooling together money from two different fanbases. While it may seem strange on the surface, this strategy certainly makes sense when you really dig into the meat and potatoes of it. Let's just hope that this bold gambit pays off, as Sony could certainly use some box office success this summer.
The Dark Tower will now shatter our reality on August 4th, alongside some weak competition. If you want to see what it's up against, take a look at our 2017 release schedule.