'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' #1, But Below Its Predecessor with $30.3M; 'Black Mass' #2 with $22.6M Start; 'Everest' Climbs to Promising $7.2M in IMAX/PLF DebutSeptember 21, 2015 12:54 PM

by Daniel Garris

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials debuted in first this weekend with $30.32 million. However, the young adult sequel from Fox debuted significantly below expectations and an underwhelming 7 percent below the $32.51 million debut of last year's The Maze Runner. With that said, without adjusting for ticket price inflation The Scorch Trials delivered the eighth largest September debut of all-time (just ahead of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials outpaced Black Mass by a comfortable $7.68 million in the battle for first place this weekend.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opened with $11.00 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.7 million from Thursday night shows), increased 11 percent on Saturday to gross $12.25 million and declined 42 percent on Sunday to gross $7.07 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.76 to 1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore, which was just below the A- CinemaScore rating of its predecessor. That and the film's sequel nature suggest that The Scorch Trials won't hold up as well in comparison going forward.

Warner's Black Mass debuted in second place with $22.64 million. While the Johnny Depp led crime drama didn't nearly reach the heights that its strong online pre-sales had suggested, the film was still off to a solid start and opened in line with low-end and earlier expectations. Given its moderate price tag, the film's debut was arguably Depp's strongest since the launch of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides back in 2011. Black Mass opened just 5 percent below the $23.81 million start of 2010's The Town, but whether it can duplicate that film's holding power remains to be seen.

Black Mass started with $8.77 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.4 million from Thursday night shows), was unchanged on Saturday with $8.77 million and declined 42 percent on Sunday to gross $5.10 million. That gave the film a relatively front-loaded opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.58 to 1, which isn't the greatest initial sign for the film. Black Mass received a B rating on CinemaScore, which while respectable, doesn't suggest that the film will hold up especially well going forward.

Universal's The Visit placed in third with $11.57 million. The low-budget M. Night Shyamalan directed horror thriller from Blumhouse Productions was down 55 percent from last weekend. That represented a sizable, but respectable second weekend decline, especially given the overall new competition that arrived in the marketplace this weekend. The Visit continues to exceed expectations with a ten-day take of $42.56 million. That places the film 32 percent ahead of the $32.20 million ten-day gross of 2006's Lady in the Water.

Last weekend's top film, Sony's The Perfect Guy was down three spots and a sharp 62 percent to land in fourth with $9.75 million. Despite the sharp second weekend decline, in the bigger picture the low-budget thriller starring Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut is still performing very nicely with a ten-day gross of $41.46 million. That places The Perfect Guy 4 percent ahead of the $39.70 million ten-day take of last year's No Good Deed.

Everest was off to a healthy fifth place start this weekend with $7.22 million. Universal's adventure drama opened exclusively in 545 IMAX 3D and PLF 3D locations, which gave the film a very promising per-location average of $13,251 for the frame. Everest took in $2.30 million on Friday, was up an encouraging 30 percent on Saturday to gross $2.99 million and declined 36 percent on Sunday to gross $1.93 million. That placed the film's weekend to Friday ratio at a strong 3.14 to 1. Given the strength of this weekend's exclusive debut, prospects are looking bright for Everest when it expands into traditional wide release next weekend.

Sony's War Room continued to hold up very nicely this weekend with a sixth place take of $6.22 million. Continued strong word of mouth continues to drive the Kendrick Brothers produced faith based film, as it was down a slim 20 percent from last weekend. War Room has grossed a terrific $49.05 million in 24 days. The film is currently running 20 percent stronger than the $40.90 million 24-day take of last year's God's Not Dead.

Meanwhile, as War Room continued to excel this weekend, fellow faith based film Captive stumbled out of the gate with an eleventh place start of just $1.39 million. The drama thriller from Paramount starring Kate Mara and David Oyelowo opened below its already modest expectations. As was the case with Samuel Goldwyn's 90 Minutes in Heaven last weekend, potential for Captive was clearly limited by the continued success of War Room.

On the platform front, Lionsgate's Sicario was off to a strong start with $401,288 from 6 locations. That gave the crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin a per-location average of $66,881 for the frame. Sicario will expand into wide release on October 2nd.

Daily Domestic Gross Thu, Dec. 13 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Dec. 13 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Skyfall$951,744-1%3,401-62$280$265,366,0635Sony / Columbia
2Lincoln$945,82512%2,014-4$470$100,654,1875Disney / DreamWorks
3Life of Pi$771,9843%2,94618$262$64,159,4063Fox
4The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$717,5371%3,646-362$197$271,690,0694Lionsgate / Summit
5Rise of The Guardians$538,9025%3,639-33$148$63,941,8233Paramount / DreamWorks
6Playing For Keeps (2012)$415,188-3%2,837--$146$7,591,0921FilmDistrict
8Red Dawn (2012)$294,486-1%2,754-27$107$38,495,4233FilmDistrict
9Killing Them Softly$285,200-7%2,4240$118$13,132,3052Weinstein Company
10Wreck-It Ralph$266,0220%2,746-341$97$165,505,5496Disney
11The Collection$122,500-7%1,4030$87$5,991,6362LD Entertainment
12End of Watch$90,036-6%1,2491225$72$40,378,74112Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Dec. 13 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$242,3607%3710$653$14,870,0494Weinstein Company
2Anna Karenina (2012)$179,111-6%42238$424$7,358,3034Focus
3Argo$174,39511%944-99$185$103,784,9049Warner Bros.
4Hitchcock$69,571-6%181131$384$1,964,2123Fox Searchlight
5Taken 2$37,66912%430-66$88$137,843,72110Fox
6The Sessions$29,5105%197-29$150$5,061,0518Fox Searchlight
7Pitch Perfect$27,1350%387-16$70$63,623,74311Universal
8Talaash$20,602-22%162-12$127$2,537,5472Reliance Entertainment
9Cloud Atlas$20,55510%191-3$108$26,539,9287Warner Bros.
10Looper$17,810-1%232--$77$66,215,53311Sony / TriStar
11The Perks of Being A Wallflower$17,06310%175-14$98$16,920,55412Lionsgate / Summit
12Alex Cross$11,4940%214100$54$25,665,9808Lionsgate / Summit
13The Man With the Iron Fists$10,905-7%1817$60$15,569,1656Universal
14Seven Psychopaths$10,2465%141-21$73$14,944,3049CBS Films

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Dec. 13 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$14,01814%171$825$356,9343Warner Bros.
2To the Arctic 3D$13,28544%520$255$10,170,69734Warner Bros. / IMAX
3A Late Quartet$9,3972%63-11$149$1,033,0006Entertainment One / RKO
4Hyde Park on Hudson$8,08413%4--$2,021$112,0201Focus
5Sinister$3,738-6%77-11$49$47,840,0669Lionsgate / Summit
6Born to Be Wild 3D$3,27514%300$109$21,489,83488Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Chasing Mavericks$2,9491%67-12$44$5,885,9667Fox
8Ice Age: Continental Drift$2,875-6%90-12$32$160,965,65522Fox
9Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$2,49317%76-48$33$17,517,6277Open Road
10The Dark Knight Rises$2,40717%62-18$39$448,139,09921Warner Bros.
12Hecho en Mexico$2,235-18%2614$86$131,7902Lionsgate / Pantelion
13Trouble with the Curve$2,216-5%71-29$31$35,763,13712Warner Bros.
14The Master$2,12418%230$92$15,903,13813Weinstein Company
15House at the End of the Street$1,8251%68-40$27$31,596,25112Relativity Media
16Arbitrage$1,7735%25-10$71$7,884,19413Roadside Attractions
17Fun Size$1,72210%80-36$22$9,409,5387Paramount
18The Intouchables$1,486238%12-7$124$13,051,81029Weinstein Company
19Paranormal Activity 4$1,423-9%48-22$30$53,751,6188Paramount
20The Rabbi's Cat$8894%1--$889$6,9801GKIDS
21Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$772-3%47-5$16$48,987,74719Fox
22This Must Be the Place$670-12%5-2$134$139,1716Weinstein Company
23Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$51-2%21$26$84,89810Roadside Attractions