When I got my ticket for “Winchester” Thursday night at the Regal Winter Park Village 20, long established as Orlando’s finest movie complex, I was hardly an audience of one. The film’s first showing played to about a one third house.
Horror fans like to catch their buzz before reviews or bad word of mouth convinces them not to. “Winchester,” hidden from critics by CBS and Lionsgate, had neither.
Then the reviews came out and we had our first universally pounded picture of 2018. Friday, it was figured the old fashioned and generally unscary haunted house tale would win an un-competitive Super Bowl weekend, hands down. But the reviews — mine was the first published — took root, took hold and smothered that abomination in the crib.
Deadline.com is now projecting “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” the long distance runner of this winter’s box office, to rise back about “Maze Runner,” surpass “Winchester” and slide back into the top spot — another $11 million for Universal’s remake.
“Winchester” didn’t do enough business Friday to ensure it will clear $10 million, or even $9. Maybe Saturday will change that.
“The Post” is doing quite well, closing in on $75 million, with “The Shape of Water” barely outrunning its biggest Oscar challenger, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” within the top ten. “Darkest Hour” is the only other Oscar contender to show much box office strength. “Water” is fading, “I, Tonya” has yet to catch fire, nor has “Phantom Thread,” and “Call Me By Your Name” was still-born.
And none of them reached the tens of millions “Dunkirk,” the actual Best Picture of 2017, did.