'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 Wed, Mar. 4 2015

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Mar. 4 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Focus (2015)$1,286,208-31%3,323--$387$23,350,0011Warner Bros.
2Kingsman: The Secret Service$888,184-24%3,28216$271$88,826,0713Fox
3Fifty Shades of Grey$812,890-17%3,383-272$240$150,048,8053Universal / Focus
4The Lazarus Effect$447,709-27%2,666--$168$11,835,1191Relativity Media
5McFarland, USA$433,908-28%2,76510$157$23,566,8422Disney
6The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water$430,464-30%3,467-213$124$141,505,2874Paramount
7American Sniper$429,402-15%2,914-321$147$332,241,64010Warner Bros.
8The DUFF$311,832-32%2,62247$119$20,886,2662CBS Films / Lionsgate
9Hot Tub Time Machine 2$227,034-23%2,90121$78$11,081,0152Paramount
10Jupiter Ascending$170,358-28%1,545-958$110$43,729,4464Warner Bros.
11Birdman$137,132-20%1,213806$113$40,689,10120Fox Searchlight
12The Imitation Game$127,815-16%1,103-305$116$87,187,19514Weinstein Company
13Paddington$123,808-25%1,421-416$87$70,636,0257Weinstein / Dimension

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Mar. 4 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1A la Mala$76,683-27%384--$200$1,675,5331Lionsgate / Pantelion
3The Theory of Everything$49,522-17%61166$81$35,195,33017Focus
4Black or White$45,899-18%718-448$64$20,754,4035Relativity Media
5The Wedding Ringer$39,510-22%542-408$73$63,127,8597Sony / Screen Gems
6Seventh Son$32,050-27%339-680$95$16,818,4304Universal
7The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies$29,433-20%304103$97$254,425,99811Warner Bros. / New Line
8Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb$19,9249%273-7$73$112,040,22611Fox
9Taken 3$18,859-5%295-159$64$88,090,1088Fox
10The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1$17,169-20%25767$67$336,775,44215Lionsgate
11The Boy Next Door$15,190-12%217-286$70$35,293,8956Universal
12Project Almanac$13,705-18%290-538$47$21,951,5135Paramount
13Wild (2014)$11,378-18%119-39$96$37,500,58313Fox Searchlight
16Old Fashioned$8,046-14%147-151$55$1,850,7834Freestyle Releasing
17Penguins of Madagascar$6,848-11%160-44$43$82,842,33614Fox / DreamWorks Animation

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Mar. 4 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Maps to the Stars$14,427-8%66--$219$187,7391Focus World
2After the Ball$10,457-35%42--$249$64,3911Freestyle Releasing
3Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$9,55518%350$273$8,881,88548Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Song of the Sea$5,52121%47-1$117$610,45311GKIDS
6'71$5,14111%4--$1,285$70,8871Roadside Attractions
7Spare Parts$4,50219%63-27$71$3,613,7897Lionsgate / Pantelion
8The Hunting Ground$4,204-3%2--$2,102$35,4441RADiUS-TWC
9The Last Five Years$2,24019%25-11$90$152,9803RADiUS-TWC
10Big Eyes$1,530-15%377$41$14,449,62410Weinstein Company
11The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death$1,067-5%35-39$30$26,465,2249Relativity Media
12St. Vincent$642-12%18-28$36$44,136,89721Weinstein Company
13Mommy$440-1%5-1$88$3,494,6306Roadside Attractions
14The Tale of The Princess Kaguya$10-98%9-3$1$692,23220GKIDS