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Shining Prequel Killed Because of Doctor Sleep’s Box Office Performance

No one saw the lackluster performance of director Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep coming, not even Warner Bros. The studio had even planned for the filmmaker to immediately direct a follow-up to Doctor Sleep, a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film The Shining. The planned follow-up would’ve been a prequel centered around the telepathic character Dick Hallorann, played by Scatman Crothers in The Shining and by Carl Lumbly in Doctor Sleep. Flanagan said in a series of tweets on Sunday that W.B. decided not to proceed with Hallorann’s film because of Doctor Sleep’s poor performance at the box office.


Based on the novel by Stephen King, Doctor Sleep followed an adult Danny Torrance (played by Ewan McGregor) as he dealt with past trauma and learned to navigate life with his “shining” power. The film was released in theaters in 2019, where it grossed an underwhelming $72 million against a reported budget between $45 million and $55 million. The film’s financial underperformance was even more surprising because it arrived on the back of solid reviews, and renewed interest in King’s work after the blockbuster success of W.B’s own It adaptations.


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