'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 Mon, Jan. 19 2015

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Jan. 19 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1American Sniper$17,942,391-26%3,5553551$5,047$110,636,2354Warner Bros.
2Paddington$6,527,46310%3,303--$1,976$25,494,1391Weinstein / Dimension
4The Wedding Ringer$3,392,846-35%3,003--$1,130$24,042,1521Sony / Screen Gems
5Taken 3$2,336,749-39%3,5940$650$65,839,4842Fox
6Into the Woods$1,931,267-8%2,758-75$700$116,459,2794Disney
7Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb$1,448,10718%2,437-934$594$106,235,0925Fox
8The Imitation Game$1,214,968-29%1,61145$754$51,622,4428Weinstein Company
9The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies$1,074,607-27%2,220-1182$484$245,656,4175Warner Bros. / New Line
10Annie (2014)$1,000,71045%1,585-1271$631$83,171,8675Sony / Columbia
13The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1$414,495-24%1,221-842$339$332,930,9369Lionsgate
14The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death$263,104-46%1,392-1210$189$25,131,9533Relativity Media

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Jan. 19 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Big Hero 6$522,93739%739-841$708$216,615,49811Disney
2Birdman$326,828-23%471243$694$28,596,46414Fox Searchlight
3Wild (2014)$286,180-28%764-522$375$33,291,3257Fox Searchlight
4Spare Parts$274,946-36%440--$625$1,610,7141Lionsgate / Pantelion
5Inherent Vice$234,209-22%6538$359$6,680,5416Warner Bros
6The Theory of Everything$207,498-28%509101$408$27,496,84311Focus
7Penguins of Madagascar$200,97317%417-640$482$80,790,4278Fox / DreamWorks Animation
8Big Eyes$123,797-22%587-457$211$13,588,5984Weinstein Company
10Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day$67,870--173--$392$66,542,16215Disney
11I (2015)$60,654-70%222--$273$1,449,2321Aascar Film
12Exodus: Gods and Kings$42,050-33%245-897$172$64,302,0246Fox
13The Gambler$32,322-39%415-1706$78$33,446,4084Paramount
14Horrible Bosses 2$30,908-36%285-90$108$54,117,7648Warner Bros. / New Line
15Gone Girl$29,284-37%186-67$157$167,441,56816Fox
16Dumb and Dumber To$28,160-32%176-68$160$85,878,28510Universal
17St. Vincent$15,336-28%104-99$147$43,832,51615Weinstein Company
18The Interview (2014)$15,327-42%163-329$94$6,033,4564Sony / Columbia
19Fury (2014)$10,518-28%103--$102$85,817,90614Sony / Columbia
20Nightcrawler$9,327-26%10530$89$32,186,95812Open Road

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Jan. 19 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1A Most Violent Year$61,877--39--$1,587$836,0053A24
2The Book of Life (2014)$37,9514%96-26$395$49,902,90014Fox
3The Boxtrolls$20,42525%87-27$235$50,767,18117Focus
4Top Five$20,167-42%83-553$243$25,223,9786Paramount
5Journey to the South Pacific$14,119--16-1$882$5,500,51260IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
6PK (2014)$11,826-68%45-60$263$10,510,4315UTV Motion Pictures
8Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$9,56920%350$273$8,552,65342Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Song of the Sea$9,024-3%41$2,256$141,4675GKIDS
10The Maze Runner$8,803-8%60-35$147$102,389,91918Fox
11Hubble 3D$8,285--162$518$47,250,950253Warner Bros. / IMAX
12Guardians of the Galaxy$5,229--65--$80$333,172,11225Disney
13Force Majeure$5,034--37--$136$1,275,04513Magnolia Pictures
14Beyond the Lights$4,579-29%5738$80$14,599,78010Relativity Media
15Human Capital$4,345--6--$724$24,3351Film Movement
16The Tale of The Princess Kaguya$3,283-46%104$328$622,35314GKIDS
17The Homesman$2,954-39%24-26$123$2,380,23610Roadside Attractions
18John Wick$2,764-41%51-55$54$43,032,68913Lionsgate / Summit
19The Pyramid$2,202--23--$96$2,740,7927Fox
20To the Arctic 3D$2,021--2-1$1,011$14,297,553144Warner Bros. / IMAX
21Tevar$1,795--0----$236,0022Eros International
22Born to Be Wild 3D$1,779--31$593$23,878,570198Warner Bros. / IMAX
23Little Accidents$1,422--17--$84$10,0711Amplify
24Dear White People$765-70%80$96$4,398,73614Roadside Attractions
25Under the Sea 3D$601--51$120$34,414,672310Warner Bros. / IMAX
26Three Night Stand$5986%10--$60$3,1361Freestyle Releasing
27If You Don't, I Will$75--1--$75$9,5895Film Movement