Looking back at the history of King adaptations, Firestarter stands out as an aberration. In just the last decade, King adaptations like It, Pet Sematary (television and film remakes, respectively), The Dark Tower, and Doctor Sleep (a sequel to The Shining) all performed well at theaters, despite mixed reviews clouding the prospects of certain films. 

Stephen King’s firewall of adaptation success stretches into the future  

So far, Firestarter hasn’t come close to making its $12 million budget back, with a global box office haul of just $5.8 million. Actors Zac Efron and newcomer Ryan Kiera Armstrong do an admirable job with the poorly repurposed King source material. But newish director Keith Thomas doesn’t manage to live up to the Blumhouse track record of outshining bigger budgeted films in the same genre. 

Firestarter’s failure isn’t likely to damage the Stephen King Industrial Complex of book adaptations. A long list of King-based films are in the works including Salem’s Lot (coming in September) Christine, The Dark Half, The Running Man, and The Tommyknockers

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