Box Office: ‘Midway’ Surges Ahead of ‘Doctor Sleep’ With $18 Million

Roland Emmerich’s WWII epic “Midway” is heading for the No. 1 slot at the box office with an estimated $17.5 million from 3,242 domestic locations.

The number marks a slight drop from Friday’s estimate in the $20 million-plus range, but is still significantly ahead of early tracking’s $13 million prediction. “Midway” is on track to come out ahead of Stephen King adaptation “Doctor Sleep,” which is looking at around $13.5 million from 3,855 North American sites, though estimates are still fluid until final tallies on Monday.

The war film, timed to release with Veterans Day, took in $6.34 million on Friday. Lionsgate is distributing “Midway,” whose star-studded cast includes Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Ed Skrein, Nick Jonas, Patrick Wilson, Darren Criss, Aaron Eckhart, Mandy Moore, and Dennis Quaid. Emmerich directed the film, which recreates the 1942 Battle of Midway, from Wes Tooke’s script. It’s one of the most expensive indie movies ever made, with a $100 million budget.

Doctor Sleep,” which earned $5.2 million on Friday, stars Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, son of Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in “The Shining.” Warner Bros.’ sequel film, based on King’s book of the same name, follows Danny as he struggles with childhood trauma, alcoholism and his psychic powers. Critics have been relatively kind to the film, with a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore from audiences. “Gerald’s Game” director Mike Flanagan directed from his own script.

Popular on Variety

Elsewhere, John Cena and Keegan-Michael Key’s “Playing with Fire” is battling with Paul Feig’s “Last Christmas” for the third place spot, each estimated to earn around $12 million.

Playing With Fire” stars Cena and Key as two members of a group of elite firefighters who wind up having to babysit several adorable children. The PG movie was directed by Andy Fickman from Dan Ewan and Matt Lieberman’s script. Judy Greer, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Haysbert also star. It has an unfortunate 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, but a more positive B+ CinemaScore.

“Game of Thrones'” Emilia Clarke and “Crazy Rich Asians'” Henry Golding star in “Last Christmas,” which follows Clarke’s Kate, a cynical Christmas store employee who runs into Golding’s Tom all over London. The rom-com, distributed by Universal, was written by Byrony Kimmings and Emma Thompson from a story by Thompson and her husband, Greg Wise. It’s garnered a 49% Rotten Tomatoes score with a B- CinemaScore.

Meanwhile, “Terminator: Dark Fate” should round out the top five with about $10 million in its second weekend. “Dark Fate” has earned $94.5 million domestically since its debut, with an additonal $37 million overseas, which still marks a fairly major disaster for Paramount, Skydance, and Disney.

In limited release, awards contender “Honey Boy” is on its way to about $360,000 from four theaters. Shia LaBeouf’s autobiographical film directed by Alma Har’el is being distributed by Amazon Studios and also stars Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, and FKA Twigs.

More Film

  • Pamela Tola

    Göteborg: Pamela Tola Proves There is an Audience for Different Stories

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden —  Chosen to close the discussion dedicated to discrimination against elderly people at the Göteborg Film Festival, Pamela Tola’s “Ladies of Steel” fitted right into this year’s focus on feminism and gender at the Swedish event. Which managed to deliver on its 50/50 promise, with 54% of the presented films being directed by [...]

  • Shirley Chen and Jose Angeles appear

    'Beast Beast': Film Review

    Writer-director Danny Madden’s “Beast Beast” clatters to life with organic percussion: a stick rat-a-tatting against an iron fence, a skateboard scraping on concrete, a rifle pinging bullets against a defenseless tin plate. Together, these sounds combine into jazz, despite the discordance of the three teens making such a ruckus. Krista (Shirley Chen), the stick thwacker, [...]

  • Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc

    Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc ‘Softie’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    PBS’s documentary arm POV has snapped up U.S. broadcast rights for Kenyan director Sam Soko’s “Softie,” fresh off its world premiere in the World Documentary Cinema competition at Sundance, Variety has learned. The film, which is the first Kenyan-produced movie to premiere at the festival, will air as part of the series’ 33rd season, which kicks [...]

  • Will Smith as Mike Lowrey in

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Rules Over 'The Gentlemen'

    STX’s “The Gentlemen” proved no match for Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which again left box office competitors in the dust after collecting $34 million in its sophomore outing. Those ticket sales, pushing the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led sequel past the $100 million mark, were easily enough to claim the No. 1 spot for [...]

  • Kajillionaire

    'Kajillionaire': Film Review

    The world is a weird place. Miranda July knows that, but the rest of us sometimes forget. Or maybe we just don’t want to admit how bizarre it is that society more or less agrees that back rubs and hot tubs and flavored chips and McRibs are an appropriate reward for a bazillion years of [...]

  • Stellan Skarsgard

    Göteborg Listens to Stellan according to Skarsgård

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden — Laughs were aplenty at the Stora Theatern, where Göteborg Film Festival artistic director Jonas Holmberg welcomed the recipient of the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award, fresh off his Golden Globe win for HBO’s “Chernobyl”. “It wasn’t planned. I thought that will be my only award this year, that’s why I said yes!” – joked Skarsgård, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content