Doctor Sleep, director Mike Flanagan’s Stephen King adaptation and direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, had a less-than-stellar opening weekend at the box office, and will probably lose money. But Warner Bros., which produced the film, is unlikely to be too worried considering some of their recent success stories.
Doctor Sleep opened this weekend to a lower-than-expected $14.1 million, well below the $25 million that was anticipated. The opening weekend tends to be a strong indicator of how well the film will ultimately perform at the cinema, and horror films are usually front-loaded (unless they become cultural phenomenons, like the original Paranormal Activity, which now has a seventh entry in the works). It’s very unlikely that Doctor Sleep will make back its budget in domestic ticket sales.
According to Deadline, the low performance of Doctor Sleep is likely to result in a $20 million loss, assuming the film is able to earn $100 million globally. Its global total currently stands at $34,100,000, with the film having not yet opened in several markets, so this remains a possibility. However, there is also the possibility of the film dropping off further and only making $80 million worldwide. Deadline speculates thatwith a budget of around $55 million and marketing costs to take into account, this would bring losses closer to $30 million. This likely comes as a surprise to executives at Warner Bros., as the film has reviewed moderately well (75% of reviews on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes are positive) and it serves as a sequel to one of the most iconic horror movies of all time.
This is not Warner Bros.’ only big loss this season, as Deadline points out that both The Goldfinch and Motherless Brooklyn also under-performed, but the company is unlikely to be too fazed considering the recent successes of Joker and It: Chapter 2 (also a Stephen King adaptation). These two films are the seventh and eighth highest grossing films in the US this year respectively, with Joker now standing as the most profitable comic book movie ever made; it will likely pass the $1 billion mark internationally soon. It: Chapter 2 has taken in $462,545,680 worldwide, including a domestic total of $211,345,680, and is successful enough for the studio to now be considering a prequel, despite a lack of source material to adapt.
Doctor Sleep is certainly not the biggest bomb released in November 2019, either–Terminator: Dark Fate is poised to lose up to $100 million, despite the popularity of the franchise in China and the fact that the movie is actually pretty good.
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Author: James O’Connor