Nolte: ‘Midway’ Stomps Stephen King, All-Girl ‘Terminator’ at Box Office


Midway, the old-fashioned, pro-American war movie critics dismissed and the experts said no one would see, is beating the latest horror movie from far-left novelist Stephen King.

With a dismal 40 percent Rotten Tomatoes’ score, director Roland Emmerich’s Midway, the story of the epic WWII battle that changed the course of the war against the Japanese in the Pacific, was projected to crash into fourth place behind King’s Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, along with Last Christmas and Terminator: Dark Fate.

Doctor Sleep slipped into 3,855 theaters with a solid 73 percent Rotten Tomatoes’ score and a projected opening windfall of $27 million. The woke romantic comedy Last Christmas opened in 3,448 theaters with a $15 million projection. Terminator: Dark Fate is still in 4,086  theaters, and was looking at a second-weekend haul of  $13.4.

Midway only opened in 3,242 theaters with a projected debut of just $13 million.

And yet, even though it’s playing in 600 few theaters than Doctor Sleep, 200 fewer than Last Christmas (which looks excruciatingly awful), and 800 fewer than the all-girl Terminator, Midway is now projected to beat them all and land in the weekend’s top spot.

The far-left Deadline reports that Midway over-performed bigtime with a $19.2 million opening, while King’s Doctor Sleep nosedived with an abysmal $17.2 million.

Last Christmas and the all-girl Terminator also came slightly in below projections.

With the exception of chapters one and two of It, which were both smashes, King’s box office record has been pretty awful over the last few years. Even with stars Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack, Cell (2016) died an ignoble death on 15 screens and a $1.3 million total global haul The big-budget Dark Tower (2017) drowned in red ink with its abysmal $113 million global haul. This year’s Pet Sematary grossed just $55 million domestic, which is less than the $57.5 million the original grossed thirty years ago — and that is dollar-to-dollar ignoring inflation.

And now Doctor Sleep, which cost $60 million produce and at least as much to promote, is dead in the water with an abysmal opening, especially when you are talking about a sequel to one of the most cherished horror movies of all time.

For more than 20 years, King could almost do no wrong at the movies: Carrie (1976), The Shining (1980), Creepshow (1982), Cujo (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), Christine (1983), Children of the Corn (1984), Silver Bullet (1985), Stand By Me (1986), The Running Man (1987), Pet Sematary (1989), Misery (1990), Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Green Mile (1999).  I’ll even defend Needful Things (1993), Creepshow 2 (1987), and  Maximum Overdrive (1986).

Over these last 20 years, though, there have been a whole lot more misses than hits.

As far as Terminator: Dark Fate, that sucker is doornail dead with a 59 percent crash over its opening weekend, which is especially tragic when your opening weekend stinks. Weekend two only added $12 million to Dark Fate’s tally, which means that after ten days it sits at a catastrophic $49 million domestic.

Dark Fate will need to hit somewhere between $500 and $600 million just to break even, and by Monday it will probably not be over $160 million worldwide.

They brought back James Cameron. They brought back Linda Hamilton. America’s butt-kissing critics got in line to award it mostly positive reviews. But if it walks like a social justice lecture, you know it’s going to talk like a social justice lecture, and Dark Fate is now doomed to be one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history.

You know, it’s weird how woke movies like Dark Fate, Men in Black: International, Stuber, Late Night, Booksmart, Long Shot, The Hustle, the all-girl Ghostbusters, Vice, Wrinkle in Time, and the like, continue to flame out and flop, while titles that appeal to Middle America — Midway, Angel Has Fallen, Unplanned, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Mule, John Wick, Overcomer, etc., continue to surprise the so-called experts.

And by “weird,” I mean not weird at all.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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