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Box Office: ‘Jumanji’ Returns to Top Slot for Super Bowl Weekend

Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is expected to take back its reigning title at the domestic box office this weekend with nearly $11 million from 3,352 locations.

The weekend will mark “Jumanji’s” fourth at the top of the box office after losing its seat last weekend to the opening of Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” which is headed for about $10 million from 3,793 locations this weekend. This weekend’s opener, Helen Mirren’s thriller “Winchester,” is looking to take in about $9 million from 2,480 after bringing in about $3 million in Friday previews, including $615,000 from Thursday.

“Jumanji” has had an unusual route to the top, taking a backseat to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for its first two weekends in theaters starting in December. Since nabbing the first place slot, however, it has shown noteworthy staying power. The film, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, has earned $344.5 million in 45 days and is the 45th highest-grossing domestic film of all time. This weekend’s take should bring its North American total to over $350 million.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” the third and final installment of the “Maze Runner” series, stars Dylan O’Brien as a young man trying to survive in a dystopian universe. It opened to $24 million at 3,787 sites and has earned $32.5 million in its first eight days. The film’s release was delayed for a year due to injuries that O’Brien sustained on the set in 2016.

Winchester” centers on a real-life house in San Jose, Calif. built by Sarah Winchester (Mirren), the heiress to the Winchester firearms fortune, over 38 years beginning in 1886. The mansion, which stands seven stories tall, contains hundreds of rooms and is meant to be an asylum for vengeful ghosts.

CBS Films bought the movie rights for $3.5 million, and the film is being distributed in partnership with Lionsgate. Directed by the the Spierig brothers, the film is headed for a bigger opening than expected — it had been tracking in the $6-8 million range — despite its somewhat contradictory B- CinemaScore and 10% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

In fourth place is Fox’s reliable musical, “The Greatest Showman,” now its its seventh frame. The Hugh Jackman film is set to take in almost $8 million from 2,588 locations for a cumulative $137 million. In fifth is Entertainment Studios’ “Hostiles,” an 1890-set saga starring Christian Bale and set to take in an estimated $5 million for a roughly $17 million domestic total.

Studios are reluctant to open major releases on Super Bowl weekend, leading to slow performance. On the same weekend in 2017, the third frame of “Split” led with $14.4 million, edging Paramount’s launch of “Rings” ($13 million).

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 debuting the CGI/live-action “Peter Rabbit” and Warner Bros. will debut Clint Eastwood’s real-life thriller “15:17 to Paris.” And the Feb. 16 launch of Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” is set to explode at the box office with early tracking showing an opening of as much as $150 million over the Presidents Day weekend.

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