'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, Sep. 9 2015

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Sep. 9 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1A Walk in the Woods$750,000-21%1,960111$383$14,506,6841Broad Green Pictures
2Straight Outta Compton$572,390-23%3,094-48$185$151,096,5854Universal
3The Transporter Refueled$484,770-33%3,434--$141$10,212,0851EuropaCorp Films
4Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation$423,176-20%2,849-246$149$183,612,1536Paramount
5No Escape (2015)$386,426-27%3,41560$113$20,926,8112Weinstein Company
6The Man from U.N.C.L.E.$244,041-21%2,102-604$116$41,000,0564Warner Bros.
7Sinister 2$223,362-24%2,651-148$84$25,050,8083Focus / Gramercy
8The Gift (2015)$193,231-17%1,591-343$121$40,816,3515STX Entertainment
9Hitman: Agent 47$176,932-25%2,191-1082$81$20,762,4153Fox
10Inside Out (2015)$142,434-23%2,9672204$48$349,854,67612Disney
12American Ultra$110,458-26%1,729-1049$64$13,693,6553Lionsgate
13Jurassic World$110,025-22%1,571332$70$647,626,08013Universal
14Ricki and the Flash$94,213-16%1,274-442$74$25,801,6045Sony / TriStar
16Southpaw$84,834-13%1,444838$59$51,472,0297Weinstein Company
17Vacation (2015)$70,096-20%1,045-510$67$57,150,2026Warner Bros. / New Line
18We Are Your Friends$67,940-22%2,3330$29$3,468,8352Warner Bros.
19Pixels$66,381-31%1,420415$47$74,152,3347Sony / Columbia
20Fantastic Four (2015)$47,809-27%1,135-324$42$54,887,0065Fox
21Dope$43,260-6%1,0231009$42$17,368,46812Open Road
22Shaun the Sheep Movie$29,965-28%1,134-224$26$18,159,7265Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Sep. 9 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Un Gallo con muchos Huevos$119,281-36%395--$302$4,663,3251Lionsgate / Pantelion
3Mistress America$55,242-3%512362$108$1,933,5524Fox Searchlight
4Mr. Holmes$35,985-7%348-21$103$16,913,4008Roadside Attractions
5San Andreas$14,2020%205-13$69$154,660,09015Warner Bros. / New Line
6Terminator Genisys$9,686-4%168-41$58$89,646,28610Paramount
7Spy (2015)$9,037-14%148-21$61$110,573,33414Fox
8Max (2015)$8,453-14%240-42$35$42,221,60011Warner Bros.
9Paper Towns$7,963-11%218-36$37$31,715,6207Fox
10The Gallows$2,835-3%103-45$28$22,730,0409Warner Bros. / New Line

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Sep. 9 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mad Max: Fury Road$5,6692%87-24$65$153,132,85617Warner Bros.
2Phantom (2015)$4,390-45%83-10$53$475,7582UTV Motion Pictures
3The Third Man (2015 re-issue)$3,560--4-6$890$428,03111Rialto Pictures
4Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet$3,45443%32-5$108$274,0455GKIDS
5Z for Zachariah$2,442-4%27-2$90$111,2772Roadside Attractions
6Magic Mike XXL$2,439-8%88-68$28$65,972,49610Warner Bros.
7Love & Mercy$2,069-7%31-8$67$12,507,95314Roadside Attractions
8Before We Go$1,933-15%21--$92$28,4611RADiUS-TWC
9Rififi (2015 re-issue)$1,559-45%2--$780$30,7611Rialto Pictures
10Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$658-60%350$19$10,347,72775Warner Bros. / IMAX
11Army of Shadows (2015 re-issue)$150-77%10$150$23,0042Rialto Pictures