Just below the surface of a quiet box office weekend, four major studio releases battled for the top spot during what should have been a lively Veterans Day weekend. While many may have been looking towards the Stephen King adaptation Doctor Sleep—the sequel to The Shining—to secure the number one spot with the help of the author’s cross-generational fan base, Lionsgate instead managed to pull a slight upset with Midway. The WWII flick roused $17.5 million domestically in its premiere weekend—still a lot of ground to cover before it recoups its $100 million budget, but it can at least boast a win over three studio titans for at least one weekend. Doctor Sleep came in second place with a $14.1 million opening weekend gross—a far cry from the earlier projected $25-30 million—despite a generally favorable reception.
In another, small-scale upset: The lightly promoted John Cena family comedy Playing With Fire managed to outperform Last Christmas with a modest gross of $12.8 million. With a cast like Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, and Judy Greer, the general curiosity is understandable. Still… Emilia Clarke! Henry Golding! Michelle freakin’ Yeoh! You’d think that a Paul Feig-directed step into the holidays after Mariah Carey officially rang in the season would lead to a much more notable turnout. But an $11.6 million domestic grab isn’t going to accomplish much more than knock Terminator: Dark Fate ($10.8 million) down to fifth place. As Parasite tacks on another $2.5 million to its domestic gross, the widely beloved dark comedy-thriller has earned a global cume of $106.8 million to date, making it the the highest-grossing foreign language film of the year. Fans can celebrate by downloading the Jessica Jingle ringtone.
This weekend should be a bit more energizing: Charlie’s Angels, Ford V. Ferrari, and A Good Liar all hit theaters on Friday. Big seat-filling stars and some big-time action could be reason enough to set some high expectations, right? That kind of thing seems to always work out.
For more in-depth analysis on this weekend’s box office, visit Box Office Mojo.