War epic 'Midway' bests 'Doctor Sleep' at the box office

Weekend box office Midway and Doctor Sleep battle for the top spot

'Midway' defeats 'Doctor Sleep' in surprise box office upset

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 reports.

"Midway", a new take on the pivotal naval battle between the U.S. and Japan in the Pacific during World War II, opened atop the North American box office this weekend with an estimated $17.5 million in ticket sales, an industry group said Sunday.

In third place for the Friday-to-Sunday period, with $12.8 million, was "Playing With Fire", a Paramount comedy about a crew of tough firefighters who rescue three feisty siblings and end up having to babysit for them.

Coming into this weekend, it was clear that with four major studio releases, the box office was bound to be crowded.

With no film grossing over $20 million this weekend, overall grosses are estimated to drop nearly 30% from the $163 million grossed in this weekend past year, when Universal/Illumination's "The Grinch" opened to $67 million while "Bohemian Rhapsody" grossed $31 million in its second weekend. With that take and its reception from critics and fans, Terminator: Dark Fate has officially flopped.

Joker has now become the most profitable comic book movie in history with a "32% domestic/68% overseas split" and a global cume of around $984.6 million so far. The film overperformed with older audiences, whom Lionsgate marketed the film to with USO events and social media ads in which WWII veterans that fought in the Battle of Midway were invited to view the film. Directed by Roland Emmerich, who produced the film with Harald Kloser, and written by Wes Tooke, the film features an ensemble cast, including Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Tadanobu Asano and Woody Harrelson.

Audiences aren't waking up for Doctor Sleep.

Trailers for "Doctor Sleep" were attached to those two films, leading a marketing campaign that heavily sold the film's connection to "The Shining" via references to Kubrick's 1980 masterpiece. It stars John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key and John Leguizamo.

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