Box Office: ‘Midway’ Surges Ahead of ‘Doctor Sleep’ With $18 Million

Roland Emmerich’s WWII epic “Midway” is heading for the No. 1 slot at the box office with an estimated $17.5 million from 3,242 domestic locations.

The number marks a slight drop from Friday’s estimate in the $20 million-plus range, but is still significantly ahead of early tracking’s $13 million prediction. “Midway” is on track to come out ahead of Stephen King adaptation “Doctor Sleep,” which is looking at around $13.5 million from 3,855 North American sites, though estimates are still fluid until final tallies on Monday.

The war film, timed to release with Veteran’s Day, took in $6.34 million on Friday. Lionsgate is distributing “Midway,” whose star-studded cast includes Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Ed Skrein, Nick Jonas, Patrick Wilson, Darren Criss, Aaron Eckhart, Mandy Moore, and Dennis Quaid. Emmerich directed the film, which recreates the 1942 Battle of Midway, from Wes Tooke’s script. It’s one of the most expensive indie movies ever made, with a $100 million budget.

“Doctor Sleep,” which earned $5.2 million on Friday, stars Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance, son of Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in “The Shining.” Warner Bros.’ sequel film, based on King’s book of the same name, follows Danny as he struggles with childhood trauma, alcoholism and his psychic powers. Critics have been relatively kind to the film, with a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B+ CinemaScore from audiences. “Gerald’s Game” director Mike Flanagan directed from his own script.

Elsewhere, John Cena and Keegan-Michael Key’s “Playing with Fire” is battling with Paul Feig’s “Last Christmas” for the third place spot, each estimated to earn around $12 million.

“Playing with Fire” stars Cena and Key as two members of a group of elite firefighters who wind up having to babysit several adorable children. The PG movie was directed by Andy Fickman from Dan Ewan and Matt Lieberman’s script. Judy Greer, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Haysbert also star. It has an unfortunate 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, but a more positive B+ CinemaScore.

“Game of Thrones’” Emilia Clarke and “Crazy Rich Asians’” Henry Golding star in “Last Christmas,” which follows Clarke’s Kate, a cynical Christmas store employee who runs into Golding’s Tom all over London. The rom-com, distributed by Universal, was written by Byrony Kimmings and Emma Thompson from a story by Thompson and her husband, Greg Wise. It’s garnered a 49% Rotten Tomatoes score with a B- CinemaScore.

Meanwhile, “Terminator: Dark Fate” should round out the top five with about $10 million in its second weekend. “Dark Fate” has earned $94.5 million domestically since its debut, with an additonal $37 million overseas, which still marks a fairly major disaster for Paramount, Skydance, and Disney.

In limited release, awards contender “Honey Boy” is on its way to about $360,000 from four theaters. Shia LaBeouf’s autobiographical film directed by Alma Har’el is being distributed by Amazon Studios and also stars Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, and FKA Twigs.

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