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‘Maze Runner: Death Cure’ Poised to Repeat as Box Office Champion During Slow Super Bowl Weekend

Fox’s second weekend of “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” should repeat as champion of the North American box office during what’s expected to be a typically subdued Super Bowl weekend.

The finale of the dystopian trilogy easily led last weekend with $24.2 million at 3,787 sites, so a typical decline would leave “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” in the $11 million to $13 million range. Sony’s seventh weekend of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” will probably provide the most competition, given its remarkable holding power, and finish in the $10 million range.

“Death Cure” led on Monday with $1.4 million, followed by Entertainment Studios’ “Hostiles” with $912,683, and “Jumanji” with $907,451 for a 41-day domestic total of $338.7 million — the 46th highest of all-time.

Only one new title is launching, with Lionsgate partnering with CBS Films on the gothic thriller “Winchester,” starring Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke, at between 2,200 and 2,300 theaters this weekend. Forecasts have pegged “Winchester,” directed by the Spierig Brothers, with a launch in the $6 million to $8 million range. The film was shot on location at the Winchester House in San Jose, Ca., as well as in Melbourne, Australia.

Mirren portrays Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester fortune who began incessant construction of the house in 1886 for the next 38 years. The house, which stands seven stories tall, contains hundreds of rooms as an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts. CBS Films bought the rights as it went into production for $3.5 million.

The film appears as if will open in the same range as “Devil’s Due” ($9.1 million) and “The Raven” ($7.3 million), and will compete for third place with “Hostiles” and the Fox holdovers “The Post” and “The Greatest Showman,” which has topped $127 million after 41 days.

Sony is also re-releasing a restored version of 1993’s “Groundhog Day,” at about 90 sites on Friday — which is Groundhog Day. Sony Pictures released the film on 4K Ultra HD on Jan. 23 at Best Buy stores. The film, which stars Bill Murray, is fully restored in 4K from the original 35 mm original camera negative and presented in 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos audio. The 1993 romantic comedy grossed a strong $70 million domestically.

Studios have been reluctant in recent years to put out major releases on Super Bowl weekend, leading to holdovers being the top films. On the same weekend in 2017, the third weekend of “Split” led with $14.4 million, edging Paramount’s launch of “Rings” with $13 million. Overall business was off 42% from the prior frame with $99.5 million, the eighth-slowest weekend of the year, according to comScore.

The lowest level of business during the Super Bowl weekend in the past decade came in 2014 with an $86 million total, comScore records show, led by $12 million for the third weekend of “Ride Along.”

Business should pick up on Feb. 9 when Universal launches “Fifty Shades Freed,” with tracking showing an opening of at least $35 million. Sony is also opening the CGI-live action “Peter Rabbit” and Warner Bros. will debut Clint Eastwood’s real-life thriller “15:17 to Paris.”

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