Box Office: ‘Midway’ Blasts Past ‘Doctor Sleep’ with $17.5-M


Doctor Sleep‘ snoozed in $14.1-M, ‘Playing With Fire‘ Topped ‘Last Christmas‘ in the weeknd’s 2nd upset.

Veterans Day weekend is light at the NA box office as the new movies disappointed.

The World War II epic Midway may have topped the chart with a better-than-expected $17.5-M from 4,086 theaters in a surprise upset over the horror-thriller Doctor Sleep, but it was a hollow victory considering Midway‘s $100-M budget.

Warner Bros.’ Doctor Sleep, sequel to The Shining had been expected to easily win the weekend with $25-M or more. Instead, the Stephen King adaptation debuted to a comatose $14.1-M domestically from 3,855 locations. It is also faring poorly overseas, where it earned $13.1-M from 68 markets for a foreign tally of $20-M and a global cume of $34.1-M.

Midway, which chronicles the famous WWII battle in the Pacific between American and Japanese forces, is billed as 1 of the most expensive indie projects ever made. The film, from AGC International, was financed primarily by Chinese money and foreign sales.

Paramount’s family-friendly Playing With Fire beat Universal’s early holiday rom-com Last Christmas.

Playing With Fire, PG rated, grossed an estimated $12.8-M from 3,125 theaters.

Internationally, Playing With Fire grossed $2.5-M from its first 10 markets for a global total of $15.3-M.

Last Christmas debuted on the low end of expectations with $11.6-M from 3,448 locations. The pic, directed by Paul Feig from a script by Emma Thompson, cost a modest $30-M to produce. Last Christmas, inspired by the George Michael-penned Wham! song,

In terms of audience grades, Midway earned an A despite being savaged by many critics. Doctor Sleep and Playing With Fire each received by a B+, while Last Christmas garnered a B-.


Terminator: Dark Fate, which rounded out the Top 5, fell 63% in its 2nd weekend to $10.8-M domestically. It earned another $29.9-M offshore for a foreign total of $150.9-M and $199.4-M globally. The big-budget tentpole will easily lose $120-M or more for partners Skydance, Paramount, Fox/Disney and Tencent.

Warners’ box office sensation Joker followed with another $9.2-M all the way in its 6th weekend as it races toward the $1-B mark globally. Its worldwide tally through Sunday stands at $984.7-M.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which crossed the $400-M mark globally late last week, earned another $8 million domestically over the weekend for a North American total of $97.3-M. The sequel has been largely powered by the foreign box office, where it has earned $333-M to date for a worldwide take of $430.5-M through Sunday.

At the specialty box office

Amazon Studios opened Honey Boy in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Filmmaker Alma Har’el’s critically acclaimed film posted a strong theater average of $72,206, one of the best showings of the year for a specialty pic.

Have some fun, see a movie this week.