Doctor Sleep Reintroduces Fans To a King


Photo of Stephen King’s name on one of his published books.

A Long Awaited Sequel

The movie adaption of Stephen King’s novel “Doctor Sleep” released Nov. 8, 2019 to great critical expectations. 

Predictions had “The Shining” sequel making around $25 million its opening weekend. However, that was not the case. 

The movie’s opening weekend only made $14 million. 

No one expected this for various reasons. One of the main reasons critics speculate it flopped is because younger movie buffs have no connection to “The Shining,” so they weren’t interested in seeing its sequel.

Previous Success

Complete lack of interest in King’s stories is not a plausible explanation because of the success he has had through the years.

The past year alone has produced two movie adaptations from his books which had notable success. “It: Chapter Two” and “Pet Sematary” produced almost $600 million globally.

These were not the first adaptations of these specific stories from King. 

The first adaptation of the novel “It” was simply titled “It” or “Stephen King’s It.” Critics received this 1990 two-part miniseries better than expected. The miniseries earned nominations for two Emmys, an Eddie Award, a Youth in Film award and a best miniseries recognition from the People’s Choice Awards.

Paramount produced another well-received adaptation of “Pet Sematary” in 1989. It grossed $57.5 million—five times its production budget. Critics attribute the lack of success of the sequel to it not being as connected to the book as the first movie.

Many directors have also adapted the cult classic “Carrie.”

A recent series not directly related to a specific King work but tied into the universes he has created is “Castle Rock.” King fans have flocked to Hulu in order to get a taste of someone using King’s world to make another tale of horror.

Not Overflowing Box Offices But Still Showing Success

There are other movie and series adaptations that are based on King’s works. These works have not had as much success as “It,” “Carrie” or “Pet Sematary,” but many regard them favorably. 

Examples of these are “Cujo,” “Christine,” “The Mist,” “Children of the Corn,” “The Stand,” “Under the Dome” and “Misery” just to name a few.

These are names that most people recognize, even if they are not familiar with the actual stories.

This success shows that even though “Doctor Sleep” wasn’t as popular as expected, King is still able to fascinate horror fans with other stories.