For Doctor Sleep, Nov. 11 will be a day that lives in infamy.
As part of an all-out freshman assault on theaters this weekend, Warner Bros.’ sequel to The Shining was all set to plant its flag on the top of box-office hill. Prognosticators expected the flick to earn in the range of $25-30 million, in fact. And given that anything with a Stephen King connection lately can do no wrong (at least financially), those projections seemed a pretty safe bet.
But Sleep was only dreaming. Instead, the World War II-era actioner Midway mounted a surprise attack on the top spot and scored a $17.5 million victory, according to early estimates. Sleep, earned just $14.1 million in its coffin-ous coffers. That’ll clock an alarm for Warner Bros., that’s for sure.
Of course, some would say the weekend as a whole was pretty alarming.And indeed, Midway’s $17.5 million gross is far from warranting a ticker-tape parade. Indiewire notes that at this time last year The Grinch was looking mighty green indeed with a $62 million opening.
But hey, we’re all about the positives here at Plugged In. It’s not every weekend you find four fresh-out-of-the-cellophane movies topping the charts, and rarely does the box office’s top five boast so much variety.
Playing With Fire beat its own modest expectations to finish third with $12.8 million. The John Cena-fronted film checked all the boxes for an old-school, family-friendly comedy, and it proved there’s still an audience for such a thing. Meanwhile, the weepy romcom Last Christmas opened its own run in fourth place with $11.6 million.
With all those box-office newbies in play, there was room for just one holdover. Terminator: Dark Fate tumbled all the way from first to fifth scratching just $10.8 million from the box-office soil. That pushes its total domestic take to $48.5 million and marks it as the weakest entry in the Terminator franchise yet (if you account for inflation). Terminator? Maybe it’s more like Terminal.
One more note before we allow you to get on with your day. After spending five weeks at No. 1 or No. 2, Joker took a pratfall all the way to No. 6. Still, it collected yet another $9.2 million and pushed its total domestic haul to $313.5 mil. Add in the $671.2 million Joker’s earned overseas, and it’s just $15 million short of $1 billion. That’ll buy a lot of chattering teeth, that’s for sure.