Speed Reads

nodding off

The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep disappoints at the box office

Audiences aren't waking up for Doctor Sleep.

The sequel to The Shining, which follows an adult Danny Torrance, was a major box office disappointment this weekend, grossing an estimated $14 million domestically, The Hollywood Reporter says. The film looked set to make at least $25 million in its debut and lead the weekend, but it unexpectedly came in behind the World War II film Midway, which opened to $17.5 million. Doctor Sleep's production budget was about $45 million, Variety reports.

Marketing for Doctor Sleep heavily emphasized the film's connection to The Shining, with trailers showing some of the original movie's most iconic images, and with posters dubbing it the "next chapter in The Shining story." Still, audiences were evidently disinterested in a follow-up to a film that seemed to leave no obvious need for one, even though Doctor Sleep's source material was the sequel novel written by Stephen King himself. The film not opening prior to Halloween, when audiences' interest in such a horror movie may have been higher, could also have been a factor in its weak performance.

This is the second week in a row that a major studio film has disappointed at the box office, with Terminator: Dark Fate previously having a weak $29 million opening. Both films earned fairly positive reviews, making their poor debuts all the more surprising. With Terminator, a string of poorly received previous films, including another reboot just four years prior, is widely considered to be to blame.

Still, things should turn around at the box office soon enough, with Frozen 2 expected to open to more than $100 million later this month. The sequel should easily give Disney its sixth billion-dollar hit of 2019; Disney has already shattered the record for most billion-dollar films released by a single studio in one year.