Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep.
Warner Bros cast the usually reliable Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson as the leads in Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep and pitched the film to fans of Stephen King’s 1977 novel and Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 classic The Shining.
So what could go wrong? Almost everything, as Mike Flanagan’s $50 million horror movie adapted from King’s 2013 novel was D.O.A. in Australia, the US and the rest of the world last weekend.
It was a blah weekend in Oz despite a lively launch for Chinese drama Better Days and solid starts by Bollywood comedy Bala and Pedro Almodóvar’s Cannes Film Festival hit Pain and Glory.
Martin Scorsese’s $150 million Netflix-financed The Irishman opened at about a dozen independent cinemas. There were reports of sold-out sessions at some locations but as exhibitors are obliged to sign NDAs, we will never know the grosses.
The top 20 titles generated $10.2 million, 10 per cent down on the previous frame according to Numero, as Universal’s romantic comedy Last Christmas opened in top spot with $2.2 million. Pro-rata, that outshone the $11.6 million US debut for the Paul Feig-directed movie inspired by a George Michael song, starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson.
Inherited from 21st Century Fox, Disney’s Terminator: Dark Fate plummeted by 51 per cent to $1.6 million after its mediocre opening. The Tim Miller-directed sequel to Judgment Day has rung up $6.1 million in Oz, a lousy $48.4 million in the US and $150.9 million internationally. With a reported production budget of $185 million, that will mean a sizable write-off for Fox, domestic distributor Paramount, Skydance and China’s Tencent.
Todd Phillips’ Joker stands at $37.4 million after adding $1.2 million in its sixth frame. The WB/Village Roadshow/Bron Studios’ production has amassed $984.7 million worldwide and will hit $1 billion in the next week or so, the first R-rated film to reach that milestone.
Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep ranked fourth, registering $806,000 from 345 screens, tracking below the $14.1 million US launch, which was well short of the $25 million most pundits had predicted. The plot follows McGregor as the adult, spiritually gifted Danny Torrance who takes on a cult of wackos led by Rose the Hat (Ferguson), who kill children who possess The Shining. None of that seemingly appealed to fans of The Shining or younger moviegoers.
Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil advanced to $8 million after scoring $741,000 in its fourth outing. The live-action spin-off of Sleeping Beauty directed by Joachim Ronning has garnered a dismal $89.3 million in the US but is proving more resilient internationally clocking $313.6 million, for a global total of $402 million.
Hong Kong director Derek Kwok-Cheung Tsang’s Better Days, the saga of a Chinese girl who is relentlessly bullied as she prepares for her national college entrance exam and forms a bond with a small time criminal, bagged $466,000 on 31 screens for Magnum Films.
Sony’s Zombieland: Double Tap ascended to $5.4 million on the back of its $425,000 fourth weekend. Ruben Fleischer’s comedy horror starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin has collared $102 million in the US.
Universal’s Judy has delivered $2.4 million after whistling up $330,000 in its fourth. The Rupert Goold-directed biopic starring Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland has mustered $23.2 million in the US.
Roadshow’s Hustlers reached $8.8 million after making $328,000 in its fifth. Lorene Scafaria’s crime caper starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart and Cardi B has earned $104.4 million in the US, a handsome return on a $20 million budget.
Transmission’s Ride Like a Girl nabbed $294,000 in its seventh, hoisting the total to $11 million.
Directed by Amar Kaushik and starring Ayushmann Khurrana as a guy who suffers from alopecia, Bala drummed up $204,000 on 31 screens for Mind Blowing Films.
Arctic Justice, a British CGI animated comedy co-directed by Aaron Woodley and Dimos Vrysellas, features a stellar voice cast headed by Jeremy Renner, Heidi Klum, James Franco, John Cleese, Omar Sy, Michael Madsen, Anjelica Huston and Alec Baldwin. But the premise of an Arctic fox who works in the mailroom of a package delivery service and yearns to be top dog held little appeal as the Icon release fetched $149,000 on 177 screens and $207,000 with previews and festivals.
Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, a deeply personal reflection on cinema, art, family, love and sexual awakening starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, pocketed $107,000 on 23 screens and $308,000 with festival screenings and previews for Universal.
Cinema Nova was the top location, where joint executive director Natalie Miller says: “It’s been one of the best fourth quarters of the year for many years considering the variable weather, exams, horse-racing and other distractions.
“Joker, Parasite, Hustlers and Judy continue to perform and Fleabag continued its amazing results with more than $6,500 in two session at Nova.”