Although it was expected to easily nab the top box-office spot with around $30 million or so, the movie (written and directed by The Haunting of Hill House's Mike Flanagan) was only able to manage second place, losing out on the big prize to Roland Emmerich's big-budgeted World War II actioner, Midway, which brought in $17.5 million from North American theaters.
Doctor Sleep is the second big-screen interpretation of a King novel to open this year, but its debut unfortunately pales in comparison to the record-breaking $91 million brought in by It Chapter Two back in early September. The project marks Flanagan's second King adaptation after Netflix's take on Gerald's Game in 2017.
As a sequel to The Shining (both the novel and movie), Doctor Sleep follows a grown-up Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), who must confront his haunted past in order to protect a young girl named Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran). Abra has wildly powerful psychic abilities, which grab the attention of the True Knot, a roaming group of vampire-esque creatures who gain nourishment from eating the life forces of innocent children gifted with the shining. The True are led by a woman named Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson).
"Doctor Sleep" is a moniker given to Danny after he gains a reputation for using his own abilities to peacefully guide terminal hospice patients into the afterlife. The film co-stars Bruce Greenwood, Jocelin Donahue, Zackary Momoh, Carl Lumbly, Zahn McClarnon, Alex Essoe, Cliff Curtis, Emily Alyn Lind, Jacob Tremblay, Joe Turkel, and Henry Thomas.
Now in its second weekend, Terminator: Dark Fate dropped from first place to fifth with another $10.5 million domestically. That marks a 65% drop from last week, when it opened to $29 million, which was already lower than expected. With just $48 million from North America and $135 million worldwide, the sixth Terminator movie (executive-produced by James Cameron and helmed by Tim Miller) is already being considered a dud. According to Variety, the movie stands to lose more than $100 million for its big-name studio backers: Paramount, Skydance, and Disney.
Paul Feig's Last Christmas came in fourth, opening with a domestic bow of $11.6 million. While not technically a genre film on the surface, the twist ending (which many guessed months before the feature's release) does sort of reframe it as such. Co-written by and starring Emma Thompson, the holiday-themed flick heavily utilizes the music of Wham! and George Michael. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Henry Golding (Snake Eyes), and Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery) co-star.