Four new wide releases this weekend brings the total to 11 over a three-week period. And, this will be another weekend in which grosses fall short of the same period last year, when “The Grinch” debuted to $62 million.
Since Labor Day, we’ve seen two major hits with “Joker” and “It: Chapter Two,” both of which grossed over $200 million, and one film over $100 million with “Hustlers.” However, 2018 saw five films in the same period open to $50 million or more. This year, unless “Doctor Sleep” really stuns, there’s only one: “Joker.” That puts pressure on three sequels that open in the next few weeks with “Frozen 2,” “Jumanji: The Next Level,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” along with standalone hopefuls to pick up the slack.
Stephen King is a franchise in his own right, but his currency in film was in decline until the two “It” titles revitalized his work. That gave new life to long-gestating plans to adapt his sequel to “The Shining.” This is a continuation of the story that’s aimed at viewers who aren’t wedded to Stanley Kubrick’s vision. It’s a more a mainstreamhorror film and Danny is now a psychic, and troubled, adult living in Florida.
Warners smartly reworked King into the studio sweet spot of mid-budget horror films like “The Conjuring;” risking comparisons with Kubrick was a fool’s mission. The end result is getting adequate reviews and benefits from heavy trailer showcasing with “It: Chapter Two” and “Joker.”
It opened last week in several European countries; results were decent but unspectacular. That said, it should be ahead of the new pack and upend “Terminator: Dark Fate” from #1 after one week.
Both “Midway” and “Last Christmas” are vying for next best, both somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million. For Roland Emmerich’s $100 million World War II naval battle film, which Lionsgate financed with Chinese investors, that would be terrible.Aimed at the Veteran’s Day holiday weekend, this will fall far short of “Dunkirk” and 2001’s “Pearl Harbor.” Reviews are trending to mildly negative.
Paul Feig’s “Last Christmas” is a London-set holiday rom-com. Reviews are middling at best, but word of mouth could keep it strong through Thanksgiving. That, plus international appeal, should make this at least a modest success.
“Playing With Fire,” another $30 million-budgeted family comedy, sees a group of firefighters led by John Cena forced to oversee a trio of children + cute dog needing short-term care. It’s a formula akin to recent Mark Wahlberg comedy hits, and initial reviews are awful. Still, this will be for the public to decide, which could propel it to a passable life after a predicted under-$10 million debut.
As we head into a nonstop series of awards contenders through Christmas, this weekend brings the limited releases of Netflix’s “Marriage Story” and Amazon’s Shia LeBeouf-starrer “Honey Boy.” Both received stellar reviews, but — like “The Irishman” — most theaters are denying patrons the chance to see the soon-to-be-streaming “Marriage Story” on screen.
LeBeouf recreated his early life in “Honey Boy,” which Amazon is releasing with conventional windows. It has a two-city platform release in top theaters, boosted by in-person Q&As at some shows. It was acquired for around $5 million, far less than other Amazon Sundance buys. That’s a cheap investment for a film they own worldwide on all platforms.
'Last Christmas' and 'Midway' also open nationwide over the crowded weekend, while 'Honey Boy' launches in select cinemas.
Unless there's an upset, Warner Bros.' R-rated horror pic Doctor Sleep — a sequel to Stephen King's The Shining — should win the weekend box office race with a debut of $25 million or more.
The adaptation of King's 2013 novel of the same name is set decades after the events of The Shining, and follows a grown up Danny Ewan McGregor as he grapples with his psychic abilities and the trauma of the past.
Doctor Sleep, also starring Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh, is directed by Mike Flanagan and opens 39 years after The Shining hit theaters.
The R-rated horror-thriller is hardly the only fresh offering as a cluster of titles open over Veteran's Day weekend and in advance of the crowded Thanksgiving corridor. One is even holiday-themed — Paul Feig's romantic comedy Last Christmas.
From Universal and inspired by the George Michael song of the same name, Last Christmas stars Emilia Clarke as troubled artist whose fortunes start to change when a young man, played by Henry Golding, begins appearing in her life. Emma Thompson and Michelle Yeoh also star. Golding and Yeoh also starred in the blockbuster rom com Crazy Rich Asians.
Tracking shows Last Christmas opening in the mid-teens, but the pic could overperform.
The same applies to Roland Emmerich's big-budget World War II epic Midway, which is presently tracking to launch in the low- to mid-teens. The $100 million indie stars Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Ed Skrein and Nick Jones. Lionsgate timed the release of the film to Veteran's Day.
The fourth new release of the weekend is Paramount and Walden Media's PG family friendly Playing With Fire, starring John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo and Tyler Mane as a group of firefighters who face their most challenging job yet — babysitting. Brianna Hildebrand also stars in the Andy Fickman-directed film, which is tracking to debut to $7 million to $10 million.
At the specialty box office, Amazon Studios opens the critically acclaimed Honey Boy in select theaters. The awards contender, written by and starring Shia LeBeouf, is directed by Alma Har'el.
Last weekend saw Terminator: Dark Fate claim the top spot at the U.S. box office, but its reign as champ will be short-lived, much to the dismay of Paramount Pictures and everyone else involved. This weekend sees four newcomers enter the fold in the form of Warner Bros.' Doctor Sleep, Universal's Last Christmas, Lionsgate's Midway and Paramount's Playing With Fire. Safe to say, it's going to make for a crowded weekend.
Doctor Sleep, directed by Mike Flanagan Gerald's Game, The Haunting of Hill House serves as a sequel to The Shining, both Stanley Kubrick's movie and Stephen King's novel. It's an ambitious undertaking, but one that looks to pay off as the horror flick, which stars Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson, is expected to bring in between $25 and $30 million on opening weekend. That box office number could be bolstered as reviews for this one have been quite good so far. It currently boasts a 74 percent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, to go with a stellar 95 percent audience score. The new golden age of King lives on.
Next up, Paramount looks to get a jump on the holiday season with Last Christmas, the latest from director Paul Feig Bridesmaids. The holiday romcom is toplined by a couple of hot stars in Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, with Emma Thompson also included in the ensemble. Despite middling reviews thus far, the Christmas flick is looking at a debut between $15 and $19 million. Considering this one could have long legs up through the end of the year, this could be another winner for Paramount in 2019.
Related: Doctor Sleep Runtime Promises Another Stephen King Epic
Midway, a large-scale World War II epic from Roland Emmerich Independence Day faces an uncertain long-term fate. Estimates have it taking in around $15 million, which isn't great considering the $100 million production budget, which Emmerich raised outside the studio system, essentially making it one of the most expensive independent movies ever made. If overseas audiences turn up, this could work out, but things aren't looking great. The cast includes Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson and Woody Harrellson.
Rounding out the top five will be Terminator: Dark Fate, which is going to stumble with between $13 and $14 million, further cementing it as one of the biggest bombs of the year. Playing with Fire, a family-friendly comedy starring John Cena, will get off to a middling start with between $7 and $10 million. Elsewhere, Netflix's The Irishman expands to several key markets across the country and Fox Searchlight's Jojo Rabbit, a likely Oscar hopeful from director Taika Waititi, also will expand to more than 250 screens. Be sure to check out our full list of weekend box office predictions below and check back with us on Sunday for the weekend estimates. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.
1 Doctor Sleep2 Last Christmas3 Midway4Terminator: Dark Fate5Playing with Fire6Joker7Maleficent: Mistress of Evil8Harriet9The Addams Family10Zombieland Double Tap
, , ] HomeBox OfficeDoctor Sleep, Last Christmas & Midway Enter 3-Way Battle for the Box Office
Director Mike Flanagan has a knack for crafting spine-tingling cinema, which is probably why he is so adept at adapting the work of legendary horror writer Stephen King. With the recently released Doctor Sleep, his second Stephen King adaptation after 2017's Netflix exclusive Gerald's Game, it is certainly an enticing prospect to learn that Flanagan is already in conversation about returning to the Stephen King universe for a third time.
Mike Flanagan has discussed these conversations, and revealed the fact that they are happening with none other than Stephen King himself.
"[Stephen King and I] are talking actively about what's next, and we have a great idea for that I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but it's really cool, and yeah, I expect there will be another chance to play in that sandbox very soon."
Sounds very intriguing, indeed. Thanks to this tease from the director, speculation is sure to be rife as to which Stephen King project the two have been discussing, with many fans hoping it will be their favourite King tale that will be lucky enough to get the silver screen treatment. Flanagan then went on to talk about his admiration for King, and how fortunate he feels to be able to adapt his stories, even suggesting that he could end up doing a lot more than three.
"It's been my dream since I was a kid to be able to adapt Stephen King, and he's let me play in that sandbox two times; I would be thrilled to do it again. He's been happy both times, which is still like [mind-blown gesture], as long as that keeps up, if he'll have me back, I'm there for the long haul. I'll do as many as he'll let me."
Mike Flanagan has made his name with horror flicks, and clearly intends to continue to do so. With Doctor Sleep getting great reviews, currently sitting at a fresh 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, and having been very well received by both audiences and critics alike, his return to the world of King is one to equally be terrified of and celebrate.
Doctor Sleep is the continuation of Danny Torrance's story 40 years after the terrifying events of Stephen King's The Shining. Still irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan Torrance has fought to find some semblance of peace. But that peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the "shine."
Related: Two New Doctor Sleep Posters Return to the Overlook Hotel from The Shining
Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra has sought him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra engage in a brutal life-or-death battle with Rose. Abra's innocence and fearless embrace of her shine compel Dan to call upon his own powers as never before-at once facing his fears and reawakening the ghosts of the past. This news comes from CinemaBlend.
, , ] HomeMovie NewsDoctor Sleep Director & Stephen King Want to Make More Movies Together
Last weekend didn't start the fire at the November box office after Paramount/Skydance Media/Fox's mechanical breakdown with Terminator: Dark Fate, which is set to lose $130 million off an estimated combined $325M production and global P&A cost and $29M stateside opening.
This weekend, Warner Bros in a rare move for its genre product opens Doctor Sleep, Mike Flanagan's feature adaptation of Stephen King's 2013 novel and sequel to his 1977 tome The Shining, which is seeing a $25M-$30M start, enough to take the breath out of the James Cameron-produced Terminator sequel and take No. 1 for the frame. With Veterans Day falling on a Monday this year, the overall marketplace gets a bit of a boost.
Personally, I think Doctor Sleepis one of the best horror thrillers, up there with The Sixth Sensein its story of a grown-up but spiritually gifted Danny Torrance Ewan McGregor, who meets a younger girl with the same haunted gifts, with both taking on a cult of wackos led by Rose the Hat the sublime Rebecca Ferguson who kill children who possess “The Shining.” Not to mention what Flanagan pulls off in re-creating Stanley Kubrick's The Shining hotel is pretty amazing, and is up there if not better than what Steven Spielberg pulled in Ready Player One. I expound on all of this because there's a chance that Doctor Sleephas the potential to, no pun, sleep its way to big numbers in what will be a Frozen 2Thanksgiving marketplace.
However, some are betting on the lower end of projections for Doctor Sleep based on its soft overseas start $5.6M from the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France, the pic's 2 1/2-hour running time I thought it ran at a fast clip, and level of scares. There's also Doctor Sleep's Rotten Tomatoes score at 75% fresh, which is alright though below the 93% of Jordan Peele's Us,the 98% of Get Out, and the 86% of It,but higher than the 57% Rotten of King's latest Pet Semataryand It Chapter Two's 63% fresh. Doctor Sleep's strong suit is with younger demos and female, and in tracking actually looks stronger than Pet Semetarydid when it opened to $24.5M.
Doctor Sleepis booked at 3,800 locations, sharing Imax with Dark Fate,but also playing in Dolby, PLF, Dine Ins and Drive Ins. Previews kick off Thursday at 6 PM.
Meanwhile, industry estimates figure Dark Fatewill flicker out by dropping 50%-55% in Weekend 2 with $13M-$14.5M. Through five days, the Tim Miller-directed pic has made $34.5M, the lowest five-day take of the last five Terminators.
Outside of Doctor Sleep,which is counterprogramming to the larger November marketplace, is more counterprogramming with Universal's Paul Feig romantic comedy Last Christmasstarring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson inspired by the George Michael holiday song. It is looking to do mid- to high teens at 3,300 theaters, beating Lionsgate/AGC's $100M Roland Emmerich directed WWII movie Midway which will crash with $15M. Last Christmas will open alongside 10 territories including Australia, the Netherlands and Norway, and continues its international rollout through December. Last Christmasis strong with females 17-34 followed by older females and girl teens. Pic is stronger than Yesterday$17M opening among 17-34s, but that Universal/Working Title pic's dominant demo was 35+. Last Christmaswill jingle in at 7 PM previews tomorrow.
Midwayis skewing toward older guys at 3,100 theaters timed appropriately to Veterans Day. Lionsgate acquired U.S. rights on the ensemble pic that stars Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart, Darren Criss, Luke Evans, Patrick Wilson and Ed Skrein.
Lastly there's Paramount's comedy Playing With Fire starring John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer, which is eyeing $7M-$10M. Paramount was quite content last season with its $48M Mark Wahlberg-Rose Byrne-Isbaela Moner dramedy Instant Family, which opened to $14.5M and finaled at $67.3M stateside and $120.6M global — a solid single in baseball terms. It's not certain that Playing With Firewill be ablaze in the family counterprogramming set, but 'tis the season to overindex. Right now females and kids are the key demos, but tracking is showing them at really low levels. Previews begin tomorrow at 4 PM.
On the specialty side, Amazon Studios' Sundance acquisition Honey Boyis playing at four New York City and Los Angeles locations: Arclight Hollywood, The Landmark on Pico, and Lincoln Square and the Angelika Film Center. Pic is 96% fresh on RT. Fox Searchlight's Jojo Rabbit,with $4.7M to date in its hop from 256 theaters in week 3, jumps to 600-750 locations in 35-40 more markets Friday including medium-sized cities such as Boise, El Paso, Honolulu, New Orleans and Reno.
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is now a classic, culturally significant enough to warrant an entire documentary about all the batty theories people have about it. But it hasn’t always been beloved. The Razzies, in their first year, awarded it two nominations: Shelley Duvall for Worst Actress and Kubrick for Worst Director. Fellow nominees included Brian De Palma and William Friedkin, incidentally. Another critic: the author of the book from which it was adapted, Stephen King, who was famously displeased with the rather liberal liberties the legendary filmmaker took with his source.
So congrats are in order to Mike Flanagan, director of this weekend’s newbie Doctor Sleep. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the best-selling author of all time praised the director of the adaptation of his sequel to his 1977 classic, published in 2013. Not only did King like it, he felt it atoned for a film that Flanagan clearly highly reveres.
Granted, Flanagan was already a trusted King adapter; the director of last year’s show The Haunting of Hill House turned the author’s novel Gerald’s Game into a Netflix movie two years back. Still, King was nervous, but those anxieties quickly abated. “I read the script very, very carefully,” King told EW, “and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.”
Doctor Sleep catches back up with Danny Torrance, played as an adult by Ewan McGregor, who is also struggling with alcoholism, as did his father Jack. Where Kubrick kept some of the novel’s supernatural elements vague, Flanagan restored them to front and center, even as he recreates certain iconic elements from the movie King so disapproves.
And yet King was cool with it all, both the script and the finished film. Flanagan, also speaking to EW, talked about taking a copy of the film to King’s residence in Bangor, Maine. “I spent the whole movie trying not to throw up, and staring at my own foot, and kind of overanalyzing every single noise he made next to me,” Flanagan said. “The film ended, and the credits came up, and he leaned over and he put his hand on my shoulder, and he said, ‘You did a beautiful job.’ And then I just died.” You can read our own interview with Flanagan right here.
Jack Torrance didn’t get a happy ending, in neither the book nor the movie nor the book’s TV movie, with Steven Weber subbing for Jack Nicholson, but at least Flanagan can say he succeeded where Stanley Kubrick did not. Then again, perhaps Kubrick never cared that much about pleasing Stephen King.