Warner Bros. The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep drew $1.5M last night from showtimes that began at 6PM. The R-rated pic which runs 2 1/2 hours is lower than the $2.75M made by New Line’s Curse of La Llorona, and lower than Paramount’s reboot of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary back during the Easter/spring break period which did $2.3M. Opening weekend estimates for Doctor Sleep, which cost in the mid $50Ms before P&A, are in the $25M-$30M range, likely lower now after this preview cash. Remember, it’s a pure 4-day weekend with Veterans Day falling on Monday.
In the post It era of the feature adaptations of King’s canon, Doctor Sleep is 75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, a grade that’s higher than the latest Pet Sematary and It Chapter Two‘s 63% fresh. Horror fans typically come out first to these pics, and Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak last night showed 4 stars and a 56% definite recommend which is solid. The over 35 audience which turned out at 41% enjoyed the movie more with grades exceeding 85%. Quads broken out are Men 25+ leading at 42% (79% grade), females 25+ 29% (77% grade), females under 25 who are typical fans of genre only showed up at 15% (60%) and guys under 25 at 14% (88% grade). Pic plays to today at 3,855. PostTrak exits for Doctor Sleep were higher than Pet Sematary which did 2 1/2 stars, and a low 47% definite recommend. That King pic drew males over 25 (33%) and females over 25 (24%) but more young folk with males under 25 (22%) and females under 25 (20%).
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Lionsgate/AGC Studios’ PG-13 Midway drew $925K at previews in 2,600 locations at 7PM. As expected, pic’s Thursday night is being compared to 12 Strong which made $900K from 7PM showtimes and turned in an opening weekend of $15.8M. Midway‘s previews are also higher than the 7PM Thursdays of Hacksaw Ridge ($750K, $15.2m opening, $67.2M domestic final), Deepwater Horizon ($860K previews, $20.2M opening, $61.4M domestic final) and Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghhazi ($900K, $16.1M opening, $52.8M). The Roland Emmerich directed movie is expected to draw $12M-$14M this weekend. Only 3 1/2 stars on PostTrak with a 52% definite recommend with demos being Men 25+ (52%), females 25+ (30%), Men under 25 (13%) and females under 25 (5%). A late review embargo yielded a 38% RT score.
Universal’s Last Christmas made $575K last night from 7PM shows in 2,700 theaters. Pic expands to 3,448 venues today. Expectations for the Paul Feig romantic comedy were in the mid-teens, with the expectation that it would peg ahead of Midway. With these low preview night figures and a 3-star grade, that opening could be lower. Maybe more females come out tonight. As of last night the pic earned 3 stars on PostTrak, a 68% grade from the 63% females who showed up, with men at 37% enjoying the pic a tad more at 73%. Demo breakdown is spread out, just if these darn ticket sales for the Henry Golding-Emila Clarke romantic comedy were higher with females 25+ at 40% (70% grade), females under 25 at 23% (64% grade), males over 25 (76% grade) and males under 25 at 15% (69% grade). The hope is that this holiday movie gets a multiple from the season. B.O. comparison here is Paramount’s Instant Family which did $550K in previews resulting in a $14.5M opening, $67.3M final domestic. Critics at 49% Rotten have no patience for this holiday goo.
Paramount’s John Cena comedy Playing With Fire also had 7PM previews last night. We’re waiting on those. Pic drew 60% families and 40% general audiences last night. Kids under 12 like the film at 4 1/2 stars with girls outnumber boys 55% to 45%. Adults wish they were some place else with parents giving it 2 stars and general audiences 3 stars. Overall audience demos here were females under 25 (30%), men and females over 25 at 24% each and males under 25 at 23%. Critics poured gasoline on this pic and threw a match at it with a 25% Rotten score.
Among regular pics in release, Paramount/Skydance Media/Fox’s Terminator: Dark Fate led Thursday with $1.4M, -16% from Wednesday and an estimated first week of $37.6M. Warner Bros./Bron/Village Roadshow’s Joker saw $1.1M, -1% and a five week amazing total of $304.3M. While Joker is the highest grossing R-rated pic at the global box office on its way to $1 billion, stateside, the Todd Phillips-directed movie currently ranks 6th on the domestic list which is topped off by Passion of the Christ ($370.8M). Who would have projected the dark R-rated DC villain drama could get that high? Focus Features’ Harriet saw $890K, -4% with a first week of $16.2M.