The Veteran’s Day weekend box office race has begun with Friday’s numbers showing a win for Roland Emmerich‘s latest, Midway. The WWII epic recreating the 1942 Battle of Midway stars Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Luke Evans, and Woody Harrelson and offers weekend theatergoers a chance to experience in some very patriotic storytelling while also indulging in big action setpieces.
With the optimal release window of pre-Veteran’s Day (November 11), Midway came in at the top of the Friday box office with $6.34 million in its pockets, all earned domestically. Signs of success began during Thursday night previews, where Midway reeled in a reported $925,000 domestically. The film opened wide in 3,242 locations across the U.S. averaging $1,956 per theater. Despite Midway‘s very mixed critical reception — which could have been a possible setback to the estimated $100 million pic from the director of Godzilla and Independence Day — the hesitation from critics doesn’t seem to be shared by Friday moviegoers as they’ve sought out this action-packed picture.
Midway is just one of four new movies to hit theaters this weekend and it seems it will be competing with the current number two movie, Doctor Sleep, for the ultimate weekend victory. Adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, directed by Mike Flanagan, and starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson, Doctor Sleep serves as a sequel to King’s novel The Shining. The movie offers up something very different to Midway, with thrills and chills alike as McGregor plays a grown-up version The Shining protagonist Danny Torrance.
Domestically, Doctor Sleep pulled in $5.2 million across its 3,855 locations. The horror-thriller averaged $1,349 per theater, too. The Shining sequel has earned positive reviews from critics, with our Collider’s own Matt Goldberg writing in his review that Flanagan has crafted Doctor Sleep to be a “really fun movie that uses hints of horror to amplify the drama and stakes.” The $50 million(ish) movie is off to an interesting start here in the U.S., with projections estimating an opening weekend somewhere in the $25 million range and the appeal of both King and McGregor possibly encouraging ticket sales Can Doctor Sleep really hit those projections?
Coming in at number three is Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke in her first post-Game of Thrones movie role opposite dashing Crazy Rich Asians lead Henry Golding. The duo star in the London-set romcom written by Emma Thompson, inspired by the music of George Michael, and directed by Paul Feig. The film’s domestic total is currently sitting at $4.1 million, reflecting earnings from its 3,448 locations. At number four is the John Cena-centric Paramount new release Playing with Fire, which earned $3.55 million domestically on Friday.
Finally, we should pour one out for the number five movie, Terminator: Dark Fate. In a surprising turn of events, Dark Fate‘s earnings have positively plummeted in its first full week in theaters and heading into its second weekend. The Tim Miller-directed Terminator installment pulled in just $2.8 million domestically on Friday, marking a 73% drop in earnings from its previous weekend. Still showing in a large number of theaters — 4,085, to be exact — the action flick is averaging just $685 per theater. That kind of per theater average is something we’ve seen from previous box office winners as they’ve entered, say, their fourth, fifth, or sixth theatrical weekend. As big a claim as it may sound, I would argue this is the first time in recent memory a movie’s ranking and earnings have dropped in such a noticeable way at the domestic box office.
|4.||Playing With Fire||$3,550,000||$3,550,000|
|5.||Terminator Dark Fate||$2,800,000||$40,457,130|