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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘DOCTOR SLEEP – Shine On’


As we referenced on our last pod—Dreamcatcher—adaptations of Stephen King novels range wildly in their quality. Doctor Sleep, fortunately, continues their recent upward trend.

As a sequel to The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s beloved 1980 film, as well as a translation of King’s source, it had big shoes to film. It does so more than admirably. Credit to director Mike Flanagan for that seamless combination. Flanagan, a rising star in the horror genre, was handed the reigns to Doctor Sleep after experiencing critical success with another King work (Gerald’s Game). It’s safe to say that the expectations for this movie were high—particularly after It: Chapter 1and grossed over $1.1 billion combined at the box office.

Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep

Here comes the unfortunate part. Despite glowing reviews (77% on Rotten tomatoes with 317 counted) and the backing of the audience (89%), Doctor Sleep mustered a disappointing $72.3 million on a budget of $55 million, apparently scuttling plans for a sequel.

We, as a pod, can’t stress this enough. Watch this movie. In fact, if you’ve never seen The Shining, watch them both. Doctor Sleep compliments its predecessor perfectly and is a love letter to the world that King created and Kubrick altered. When you see what Flanagan and his team were able to accomplish with this film, there’s no doubt you will want to see more of his work. 

So sit back, inhale the delicious scent of a Nosferatu Red Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company like it’s Steam, and get lost in a hedge maze! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. CashChumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese are doing our best to stave off drinking in a haunted hotel.

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – As a suitable follow up to The Shining film and the novel it’s based upon, Doctor Sleep delivers the goods. (00:00)
    • Spoilers Warning – If you have not seen the movie, skip from 39:45-50:40.
  • The “What is Tied Cannot be Untied” Trivia Challenge – I challenge Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and Mayor McCheese to a series of Doctor Sleep-themed questions. (1:01:53)
  • Recommendations – We offer our picks for the week, and next up: the fourth entry in our “Flops that Go Bump in the Night” series, The Mist! Stephen King adaptations kind of took over the month. (1:16:16)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the meticulous recreation of the Overlook Hotel and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIniHeartRadio, and Amazon Music!


Thomas L. Kelly

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