Deadline reports that Doctor Sleep could stand to lose around $20 million following an underwhelming performance at the box office, where it earned $14.1 million domestically in its opening weekend. It fell well short of expectations, as it was projected to take home somewhere between $25 to $30 million. If the film is unable to reach the $100 million mark globally, and settles into the $80 million range, financial losses could balloon to around $30 million.
It is being reported that Warner Bros. execs are at a loss for words over Doctor Sleep since they thought all signs were pointing towards, at least, a decent debut showing. The film is being billed as a sequel to the 1980 Stanley Kubrick horror classic The Shining, based on the novel by the same name written by Stephen King. Given the box office success of Pet Sematary earlier this year, as well as the IT sequel, it appeared that audiences were still interested in IP from King. But it seems like his name alone isn't enough to draw audiences to the theater.
Warner Bros. was reportedly even more encouraged by the mostly positive reviews for Doctor Sleep, which received a B+ on CinemaScore and currently has a 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with an even better audience score of 91 percent. What may have been overlooked is the same issue that resulted in the box office demise of Terminator: Dark Fate last week.
Dark Fate attempted to capitalize on the nostalgia of an older audience that doesn't subscribe to the theatergoing experience. Since Doctor Sleep harkens back to a movie from nearly four decades ago, the desire to see a follow-up film to a project that old could have possibly gone cold.