2nd Update: Wow, this wasn’t expected Roland Emmerich’s Midway is overperforming apt to beat Warner Bros. Doctor Sleep, $19.2M to $17.2M. Good for Midway, really bad for Doctor Sleep which cost in the $50Ms. $7M today for Midway, and $6.6M for Doctor Sleep. How bad were Doctor Sleep previews last night? So bad they included cash from the Oct. 30 screening. Pity, because I think it’s a great movie. Others disagree saying it’s slow at 2 1/2 hours with few scares (I beg to differ, but, hey, I’m in the minority). Talk about tracking being off on Doctor Sleep, but we heard whispers he could slow down after its lackluster foreign opening last weekend. This is a disappointment for the Stephen King canon which the whole ton was hog wild about seeking a revival on post It, the feature adaptation of the author’s tomes having a streak in the 70s, ’80s and 90s’.
Universal’s Last Christmas is looking at $13M-$14.6M while Paramount’s Playing With Fire is in fourth with $12M after $3.5M today including $500K in previews. Paramount/Skydance Media/Fox’s Teriminator: Dark Fate drops to 5th place with $11.75M, -59% for a $49.4M 10-day.
1st Update: 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%).
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.
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