×

Can ‘The Shining’ Sequel ‘Doctor Sleep’ Awaken the Box Office?

Warner Bros.’ “Doctor Sleep,” a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s seminal horror film “The Shining,” is hoping to scare some life into the box office.

Outside of Warner Bros.’ “Joker,” fall offerings such as Paramount and Skydance’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” haven’t been as warmly embraced by moviegoers. As a result, domestic box office receipts have declined over 5% compared to last year, according to Comscore.

Doctor Sleep” is eyeing the strong start among newcomers, but this weekend’s new nationwide offerings — including Universal’s romantic comedy “Last Christmas,” Paramount’s family film “Playing With Fire,” and Lionsgate’s historical drama “Midway” — will attempt to cater to a broad range of audiences.

“Doctor Sleep” should easily win the weekend with ticket sales expected to reach $25 million to $30 million when it launches in 3,800 North American theaters. Mike Flanagan (Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House”) wrote and directed “Doctor Sleep,” based on Stephen King’s terrifying novel. Set decades after the events in “The Shining,” the supernatural thriller sees Ewan McGregor take on the role of Danny Torrance, a man with psychic abilities who struggles with childhood trauma. Danny Lloyd portrayed a young Danny Torrance, the son of Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in “The Shining.” The follow-up has enjoyed mostly positive reviews and holds 75% on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Variety’s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman said although he was skeptical of the need for this particular adaptation, “‘Doctor Sleep’ presents one that’s fresh and unsettling enough to justify its existence.”

Warner Bros. is still enjoying the success of “Joker,” the grim comic-book origin story that should cross $1 billion at the global box office next week. But the studio’s recent movies like “The Goldfinch” and “Motherless Brooklyn” have gone largely ignored by ticket buyers and became financial misses. “Doctor Sleep,” with a modest production budget around $45 million, looks to surf the recent wave of renewed interest in King material and secure a hit for the Warner Bros.

Popular on Variety

While “Doctor Sleep” could ride the coattails of Halloween, “Last Christmas” is getting ahead of the holiday spirit. The feel-good film, starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson, is projected to earn $12 million to $15 million from 3,300 venues. Those figures would be a solid debut given the film’s $30 million production budget. Paul Feig, the filmmaker behind “Bridesmaids” and “A Simple Favor,” directed “Last Christmas” from a script by Thompson. Inspired by George Michael’s Yuletide classic tune, “Last Christmas” follows Kate (Clarke), a down-on-her-luck woman whose fate starts to change when she meets Tom (Golding) while working as a department store elf during the holidays.

Midway” is targeting a similar launch to “Last Christmas” and should collect around $13 million when it hits 3,100 locations. However, “Midway,” hoping to benefit from Veterans Day weekend, represents a much pricier gamble. Directed by Roland Emmerich, “Midway” carries a massive $100 million price tag, making it one of the most expensive independent films ever made. Set during World War II, the historical epic follows the story of U.S. Navy sailors who persevered through the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Battle of Midway. The cast includes Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans and Nick Jonas.

This weekend’s final new release, “Playing With Fire,” looks to make $7 million to $10 million from 3,000 theaters. The film, catering to families, cost $30 million to make. John Cena stars ‘Playing With Fire,” a PG movie about a group of elite firefighters who prepare for their most challenging job yet: babysitting. Paramount is having a particularly rough fall at multiplexes with the twin box office failures of “Gemini Man” and “Terminator: Dark Fate,” both co-financed by Skydance, which will mitigate damages, but should cost the studio well over $100 million in losses.

Among specialty offerings, Amazon Studios is debuting “Honey Boy,” a drama loosely based on Shia LaBeouf’s childhood. The movie will start in four locations — Arclight Hollywood and the Landmark in Los Angeles and AMC Lincoln Square and Angelika Film Center in New York — before slowly expanding its theatrical footprint. LaBeouf, who wrote the film, portrays his father on screen, while Lucas Hedges and Noah Jupe play older and younger versions of LaBeouf. Alma Har’el directed “Honey Boy,” which has received rave reviews since its Sundance Film Festival premiere.

More Film

  • Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE)

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Towers Over 'Dolittle,' '1917'

    Universal’s “Dolittle” and “1917” found out what “Bad Boys” will do when they come for you at the box office. Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” the third entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led series, beat expectations and towered over the competition during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. “Bad Boys for Life” earned [...]

  • Charlize Theron31st Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly's 'Bombshell' Reaction Video Was 'Really Validating'

    Charlize Theron says it was “really emotional” to watch Megyn Kelly’s half-hour response video to “Bombshell,” the Oscar-nominated feature film that depicts the sexual harassment Kelly (as played by Theron) and several other women experienced from Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The video, which Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on Jan. 9, shows Kelly, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    '1917,' 'Succession' Among Top PGA Award Winners

    “1917” continued its string of major awards season wins on Saturday night, earning the Producers Guild of America award for best picture. Coupled with its win for best picture, drama at the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is officially the front runner for Oscar’s top prize. “It’s a film that is a tribute to all [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho, Jane Rosenthal, David

    Netflix Praised by 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Filmmakers at Producers Guild Panel

    Streaming giant Netflix received strong support from filmmakers behind “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” at the Producers Guild of America’s nominees panel on Saturday at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Jane Rosenthal, one of “The Irishman” producers, said Netflix embraced the vision that she and Martin Scorsese had for the $170 million film. [...]

  • Gabriel Harel on MyFFF ‘The Night

    Gabriel Harel Discusses Dystopic Parable ‘The Night of the Plastic Bags’

    With his first short film, the animated “Yùl and the Snake,” Gabriel Harel won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or for the continent’s best animated short film, given at the 2016 Cartoon Forum in Toulouse. Now, Harel’s awaited sophomore effort, the animated “The Night of the Plastic Bags,” competes at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, and is available on a swathe [...]

  • MyFrenchFilmFestival: Profiling Benjamin Crotty’s Short ‘Nicolas

    ‘The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin’: Nationalism Wrapped in Charisma

    Winner of Locarno’s Signs of Life section, Benjamin Crotty’s “The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin” has enjoyed more than 12 months of festival success and critical acclaim as it reaches the end of its festival run at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival. A modern take on one of France’s most influential yet widely unknown characters, the film headlines [...]

  • Alexander Ludwig

    Alexander Ludwig on Sharing his Recovery Journey, Playing the 'Bad Boys' Tech Guy

    With his towering height and stature, Alexander Ludwig looks every bit the action star, first appearing as Cato in “The Hunger Games,” and more recently as fierce Norse Viking chief Bjorn Ironside on History Channel’s “Vikings” and in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, with Will Smith and Martin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content