According to a report from Deadline Hollywood, Warner Bros’ sequel to 1980’s The Shining, starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson is set to lose upwards of $20M.
Doctor Sleep, which cost $45M to produce, earned just $14.1M over its opening weekend according to studio estimates. That number is down 43.6% from the projected $25M it was expected to earn coming into the weekend. The lack of turnout led to the film losing the #1 spot for the weekend to fellow newcomer – and surprise winner – Midway ($17.5M).
According to Deadline, Doctor Sleep would have to earn $100M globally over the course of its box office run for the studio to lose just $20M. If the film can only manage somewhere in the $80M range, then the losses could exceed $30M. When combined with the studio’s most recent box office bomb – The Goldfinch – losses have the potential to reach $80M between the two.
The Stephen King adaptation is yet another disappointment in what’s been a tumultuous year for Warner Bros. Doctor Sleep joins films like the aforementioned The Goldfinch and The Kitchen as certified bombs. While it’s hard to get audiences to come out for non-event films in 2019, Warner Bros’ blockbusters haven’t fared much better. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was only able to manage $191.3M on a $100M budget. That’s a 59% decrease from the original in 2014 – a movie that’s budget was $40M lighter. Another tentpole film, Godzilla: King of Monsters, dropped 26.5% when compared to its predecessor in 2014. And while family-friendly flicks Shazam and Detective Pikachu did fine, they also didn’t exceed expectations by any means.
That doesn’t mean Warner Bros. hasn’t had its share of success in 2019, though. DC’s Joker film is looking to march past the coveted $1 billion mark this week which would make it the least expensive and first R-rated movie to reach that number – and that’s without a Chinese release. They’ve also found success in the horror genre with Annabelle Comes Home and The Curse of La Llorona which made 8.5x and 13.6x their budgets, respectively. Not to mention the sequel to the studio’s last Stephen King smash hit, It: Chapter Two which was able to earn $460M worldwide. In fact, the same report from Deadline states that the two clown-centric films will generate a profit of $600M+ for the studio.
Ultimately, Warner Bros. has the clowns to thank for 2019 not being a total disaster, but looking forward to 2020 and beyond, they’re going to need more consistency to take on the mega-studio that Disney has become. Right now, it seems like Universal is the one studio that has figured out the best way to combat Disney, while Warner Bros. seems to be trying to mimic them and mostly failing. Warner Bros. does have the chance for a big 2020 with some major releases along with the launch of HBO Max in the Spring. They could definitely use a bounce back after an inconsistent 2019.