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‘Winchester’ Locks and Loads $615,000 at Thursday Previews

Helen Mirren horror film opens on 2,480 screens this weekend

Lionsgate/CBS Films’ horror film “Winchester” arrived in theaters on Thursday night, making $615,000 from preview screenings.

That’s slightly less than the $800,000 that the horror reboot “Rings” grossed in this slot last year, with that film going on to gross $13 million in its opening weekend from 2,930 screens.

“Winchester” will expand to 2,480 screens this weekend and is expected to open to $6-8 million. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” will compete with “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” for the top spot, as “Jumanji” looks to cross the $350 million domestic milestone and take back the No. 1 spot for one more weekend before “Fifty Shades Freed” whips up box office next weekend.

“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.