Friday Box Office: ‘Winchester’ Takes the Lead Over ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’

     February 3, 2018

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As of Friday, the big face-off at the box office is between Winchester, which placed at number one with $3.6 million, and Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which is currently in second with $3 million at the top of its second frame. The two are separated by less than $600,000, which means that its really anybody’s game right now, but if one were pulling for the more substantive movie, Winchester would inarguably be favored over the droning, plot-centric tedium of the latest Maze Runner movie.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

The difference, of course, is that Winchester, as helmed by the Spierig brothers, is the better-directed movie by a country mile. Wes Ball, who has directed all of the Maze Runner movies, has a certain talent for action sequences but his sense of invention ends just about there. The Spierig brothers, on the other hand, have shown wild visual imagination in Predestination, Daybreakers, and, despite its flimsy, thoughtless script, last year’s Jigsaw. The premise and story of Maze Runner is seemingly all that matters to the production, whereas Winchester, for all its undisputed faults, shows a deep, lively concern for notions of the metaphysical and spiritual fear.

Similarly, Jake Kasdan‘s touch for comedic framing and timing is part of what has kept Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in the top five for so long now. The Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart vehicle dropped to third on Friday with $2.8 million and its looking like the movie will pass the $350 million mark by the time the Super Bowl starts up this weekend. Meanwhile, The Greatest Showman and Hostiles rounded out the rest of the top five in fourth and fifth with $2.2 million and $1.6 million respectively. These films are also marked by a distinct-ish sense of style, especially in the case of Hostiles, but neither push against the rigidity of their scripts the way the Spierigs do. It might just be enough for them to squeak out a win over the weekend.

Here’s your top five for Friday:

Title Friday Domestic BO Total Domestic BO
1. ‘Winchester’ $3,605,000 $3,605,000
2. ’Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ $3,010,000 $32,570,199
3. ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ $2,875,000 $344,517,752
4. ‘The Greatest Showman’ $2,260,000 $131,935,172
5. ‘Hostiles’ $1,665,000 $17,379,413

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