Yesterday brought box office watchers a surprise, as despite being widely predicted to easily take #1 domestically, new Stephen King adaptation Doctor Sleep fell flat financially. The film earned a mere $14 million on the way to a second place finish.
A follow-up report from Deadline is now even suggesting that Doctor Sleep will not only not be profitable for Warner Bros., it’s likely to actually lose the studio over $20 million. WB execs are said to be baffled as to why it did so poorly, despite positive reviews.
Stephen King himself has now weighed in on the subject of Doctor Sleep’s box office take, via Twitter. He didn’t say much, but he’s unfazed by the low numbers, and urges moviegoers to give what he thinks is a great film a chance to impress them.
Somewhat ironically, despite it being regarded as a classic now, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was a box office dud at the time of its release. I saw Doctor Sleep opening night and loved it, so I’m with King in hoping more people give Mike Flanagan’s film a chance.
In fact, horror history is full of films that did poorly when released, only to find their fanbase later on. Hopefully Doctor Sleep will be one such film, but if you’re a horror fan, you really should go check it out before it leaves theaters. The Overlook Hotel insists.