The Turning Earns a Disappointing F CinemaScore

Movie studios don't often release their strongest horror efforts in January, with last weekend's The Turning earning a disappointing reaction from audiences, as it was given the rare F rating by CinemaScore. Of the various ratings systems out there, a film's CinemaScore is tabulated by polling audiences who attend a movie in theaters in its opening weekend and asking them to offer the film a letter grade of the experience. Rather than determining the overall quality of the film, these ratings often reflect how the film lived up to an audience's expectation, with The Turning's disappointing ending likely playing a major factor in the F CinemaScore.

The Turning takes us to a mysterious estate in the Maine countryside, where newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora and Miles. Quickly though, she discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.

CinemaScore was established in 1978 and, in almost 40 years, The Turning marks the 21st film to earn an F rating. Interestingly, earlier this month The Grudge became the 20th film to earn an F rating.

Over on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is described, "Stylish but muddled, this misbegotten adaptation of Henry James' classic novel will send horror-hungry viewers Turning to the source material instead." The site calculates that 13% of critics gave it a positive review while, out of nearly 1,000 audience ratings, its audience score also sits at 13% positive. Metacritic calculated the film as earning a 35 Metascore from critics and 5.5 Metascore from users.

In 2016, mother! earned an F CinemaScore, despite Rotten Tomatoes calculating a 69% positive score from critics. While the trailers made the film look like a traditional home invasion thriller, it was a much more avant-garde experience. In 2018, Hereditary earned a D+ CinemaScore, though Rotten Tomatoes calculated 89% positive reviews.

The Turning took in $6.5 million in its opening weekend domestically, coming in at the weekend's sixth spot. With a reported production budget of $14 million, the film could potentially reach that number over the course of its theatrical run.

Fans of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw might be disappointed to see this adaptation have such a disappointing performance, though the novella will serve as the inspiration for the second season of Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House, which will be titled "The Haunting of Bly Manor." The original story takes place almost entirely at the old country mansion, where two young orphans are looked after by a young governess and by whom most of the story is narrated by.


The Turning is in theaters now. The Haunting of Bly Manor is currently in production.

Are you surprised the film earned such a low CinemaScore? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!

Did you know has a podcast? That's right folks, ComicBook Nation is available every Wednesday and Friday bringing you the best breakdowns of the week's biggest news from Kofi Outlaw, Matt Aguilar, Janell Wheeler & the rest of the staff at the site. Catch the newest episode right here or subscribe on iTunes today!