'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, Oct. 23 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Oct. 23 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Fury (2014)$2,024,267-5%3,173--$638$33,050,4281Sony / Columbia
2Gone Girl$1,470,137-2%3,249-35$452$112,993,2223Fox
3The Judge$743,164-6%3,0030$247$30,032,0692Warner Bros.
4The Best of Me$680,0892%2,936--$232$12,926,6741Relativity Media
5The Book of Life (2014)$658,7650%3,071--$215$20,113,4491Fox
6Dracula Untold$638,510-14%2,90013$220$44,025,3902Universal
7Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day$562,79717%3,08820$182$38,521,6192Disney
8Annabelle$427,247-10%2,878-337$148$76,151,0413Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Equalizer$391,333-13%2,262-855$173$90,975,2764Sony / Columbia
10The Maze Runner$231,491-4%2,155-917$107$91,770,0935Fox
11Addicted$194,991-14%1,037191$188$13,836,7022Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
12The Boxtrolls$140,9383%2,251-1019$63$46,678,3664Focus

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Oct. 23 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Left Behind (2014)$76,910-4%923-964$83$13,194,0553Freestyle Releasing
2Guardians of the Galaxy$69,793-1%730-561$96$328,095,58912Disney
3Meet the Mormons$66,011-21%33316$198$5,000,3562Purdie Distribution
4Kill the Messenger$50,257-13%42753$118$2,074,9192Focus
5This Is Where I Leave You$44,155-5%502-1009$88$33,414,7555Warner Bros.
6Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)$35,208-2%372-57$95$189,740,44611Paramount
7Men, Women & Children$29,715-13%608580$49$603,6883Paramount
8The Skeleton Twins$24,906-9%159-109$157$4,804,9366Roadside Attractions
9Dolphin Tale 2$24,74664%502-1003$49$40,900,6296Warner Bros.
10The Good Lie$22,49745%135-326$167$2,144,2033Warner Bros.
11Pride (2014)$21,639-11%11518$188$952,6974CBS Films
12No Good Deed (2014)$16,080-15%296-505$54$52,384,2386Sony / Screen Gems
14Let's Be Cops$10,457-10%176-143$59$81,777,78510Fox
15If I Stay$10,43717%222-123$47$50,363,8049Warner Bros. / New Line
16Dawn of the Planet of the Apes$9,2979%149-32$62$208,303,74315Fox
17A Walk Among the Tombstones$8,705-15%158-400$55$26,017,6855Universal
18How to Train Your Dragon 2$7,83020%182-22$43$176,514,70719Fox / DreamWorks Animation
19Into the Storm$6,812-4%170-74$40$47,375,32811Warner Bros. / New Line
20The Giver$5,456-13%107-95$51$44,570,57410Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Oct. 23 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1St. Vincent$76,831-9%6864$1,130$1,130,9572Weinstein Company
2Birdman$46,874-12%4--$11,719$630,4411Fox Searchlight
3Dear White People$20,779-11%11--$1,889$443,7981Roadside Attractions
4Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$8,3987%400$210$7,747,70329Warner Bros. / IMAX
5The Tale of The Princess Kaguya$6,202-3%3--$2,067$77,4801GKIDS
6Tracks (2014)$5,8619%36-28$163$432,0735Weinstein Company
7The November Man$4,4540%8534$52$25,003,0298Relativity Media
8Hector and the Search for Happiness$3,671-3%39-105$94$909,2795Relativity Media
9Hiroshima Mon Amour (2014 re-issue)$3,500-11%5--$700$31,8921Rialto Pictures
10The Drop$2,623-25%43-60$61$10,680,6936Fox Searchlight
11One Chance$2,56717%25-18$103$74,6412Weinstein Company
12Earth to Echo$2,52630%51-21$50$38,924,70816Relativity Media
13Haider$2,300-29%49-57$47$1,043,1023UTV Motion Pictures
14The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby$1,95143%8-16$244$576,8116Weinstein Company
15Keep On Keepin' On$1,4080%8-1$176$102,0785RADiUS-TWC
16A Most Wanted Man$1,375-33%23-5$60$17,205,70613Roadside Attractions
17Más Negro que la Noche$1,184-25%22-9$54$870,0634Lionsgate / Pantelion