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

Aaron Eckhart Midway

Aaron Eckhart Midway

Heading into the weekend, Warner Bros.' Stephen King adaptation "Doctor Sleep" was widely expected to take the top prize, but the R-rated sequel to 1980's "The Shining" debuted at No 2 with a slumbering US$14.1 million from 3,855 venues, almost half of studio projections. The film revolved around the Battle of Midway during World War II in June 1942, a smart release for Veterans Day weekend.

Though "Midway" arrived ahead of tracking, the US$100 million film still has a long and arduous journey ahead to achieve profitability.

Roland Emmerich's Midway was able to upset Doctor Sleep and land at the top spot in the earnings rankings. Reception has been solid for the film with a 73% RT score, a B+ on CinemaScore, and Stephen King's enthusiastic endorsement. Mike Flanagan directed "Doctor Sleep", and the movie features Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, and Cliff Curtis.

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Elsewhere, Playing with Fire starring John Cena and Keegan Michael-Key ranked third at the box office, pulling in $12.8 million, but flopped critically with a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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. Paul Feig directed "Last Christmas", which stars Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson.

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