February will see plenty of major releases entering the box office, but it won’t happen this weekend with most distributors choosing not to compete with Super Bowl Sunday. The only wide release coming this weekend is Lionsgate/CBS Films’ horror film “Winchester,” which isn’t expected to pass “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” or “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” for the top spots.
Trackers have “Winchester” opening to $6-8 million, which should put it on the lower end of the top five for the weekend. “Death Cure” and “Jumanji” will go head-to-head for the top spots, with “Jumanji” potentially taking the top spot if “Death Cure” falls off the way its “Maze Runner” predecessors have. In September 2015, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” opened to $30 million and fell 53 percent in its second week to $14.2 million.
If “Death Cure” has a similar drop, it’s looking at a second weekend total of $10-11 million, a number “Jumanji” could match in its seventh weekend if it continues to hold as it has so far during its exceptional run. “Jumanji” made $16.1 million last weekend, just 17 percent down from the $19.5 million it made the weekend before.
On the limited release side, Sony Pictures Classics will release Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman,” one of the nominees for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, on five screens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. It stars Daniela Vega as Marina, a transgender Chilean woman whose life takes a hard turn when her 57-year-old soulmate Orlando (Francisco Reyes) suddenly dies of an aneurysm. Her struggle to cope with his loss is compounded by a brewing conflict with Orlando’s family, who refuse to let her attend the funeral since she is transgender. The film currently has an 88 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Winchester” stars Helen Mirren as Sarah Winchester, widow of famed rifle manufacturer William Winchester, in a horror tale based on the true story of how Winchester spent the fortune she inherited from her husband on the expansive Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif. Construction of the house, which is filled with staircases to nowhere and maze-like corridors, continued until Winchester’s death in 1922, with the widow claiming that she was being haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. Michael and Peter Spierig (“Jigsaw”) directed the film from a script they co-wrote with Tom Vaughan.