'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.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Sep. 18 - Sun, Sep. 20

Wide (1000+)

1Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials$32,316,510--3,791--$8,525$30,316,5101Fox
2Black Mass$22,635,037--3,188--$7,100$22,635,0371Warner Bros.
3The Visit (2015)$11,566,400-55%3,14879$3,674$42,564,7202Universal
4The Perfect Guy$9,751,801-62%2,2309$4,373$41,462,2732Sony / Screen Gems
5War Room$6,215,991-20%1,945298$3,196$49,054,6534Sony / TriStar
6A Walk in the Woods$2,808,717-41%2,15819$1,302$24,868,2333Broad Green Pictures
7Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation$2,213,360-46%2,202-447$1,005$191,695,5708Paramount
8Straight Outta Compton$1,907,980-51%1,938-874$985$158,859,2406Universal
9Grandma$1,501,101133%1,061931$1,415$3,694,8205Sony Pictures Classics
10No Escape (2015)$1,001,735-65%2,054-968$488$26,221,7374Weinstein Company
12Inside Out (2015)$927,379-39%1,200-802$773$352,846,54814Disney
13The Transporter Refueled$720,771-74%1,742-1692$414$15,301,5873EuropaCorp Films

Limited (100 — 999)

1Everest (2015)$7,222,035--545--$13,251$7,222,0351Universal
2Captive (2015)$1,393,243--806--$1,729$1,393,2431Paramount
3Un Gallo con muchos Huevos$1,071,849-47%606-10$1,769$8,276,2053Lionsgate / Pantelion
490 Minutes in Heaven$1,005,715-51%89922$1,119$3,478,0112IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
6The Man from U.N.C.L.E.$754,274-60%955-701$790$44,531,6286Warner Bros.
7Pixels$708,243-37%760-280$932$76,283,2639Sony / Columbia
8Jurassic World$636,480-46%753-416$845$649,860,51515Universal
9Learning to Drive$539,766-25%33962$1,592$2,378,0635Broad Green Pictures
10The Gift (2015)$520,649-62%757-632$688$43,362,3847STX Entertainment
12Sinister 2$380,366-70%757-1291$502$27,282,1105Focus / Gramercy
13Vacation (2015)$261,798-53%465-323$563$58,208,9218Warner Bros. / New Line
14Hitman: Agent 47$254,082-66%391-660$650$22,212,8245Fox
15Shaun the Sheep Movie$252,108-45%509-259$495$18,992,6317Lionsgate
16Katti Batti$239,816--127--$1,888$239,8161UTV Motion Pictures
17Fantastic Four (2015)$226,969-49%355-321$639$55,713,7887Fox
18Meru$161,795-38%145-21$1,116$1,949,0126Music Box Films
19Phoenix (2015)$157,384-42%169-28$931$2,791,8349IFC Films
20Avengers: Age of Ultron$142,184-27%170-20$836$458,793,29121Disney
21Mr. Holmes$138,573-52%268-118$517$17,502,20810Roadside Attractions
22Ricki and the Flash$130,319-69%373-508$349$26,651,5207Sony / TriStar
23Southpaw$119,708-59%232-271$516$52,079,9799Weinstein Company
24San Andreas$112,819-23%162-41$696$154,979,26117Warner Bros. / New Line
25Max (2015)$105,497-19%191-53$552$42,496,59513Warner Bros.
26Spy (2015)$72,7209%106-21$686$110,747,87716Fox
27Paper Towns$69,585-25%149-59$467$31,911,5849Fox
28Welcome Back$56,143-75%1350$416$1,357,9583Eros International
29American Ultra$55,666-84%184-411$303$14,327,0065Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

1Sicario (2015)$401,288--6--$66,881$401,2881Lionsgate
2Pawn Sacrifice$202,053--33--$6,123$217,9861Bleecker Street
3Meet the Patels$152,990112%3429$4,500$246,6852Alchemy
4Sleeping with Other People$92,7324%2722$3,435$206,0502IFC Films
5Mistress America$61,731-74%97-306$636$2,392,4156Fox Searchlight
6Goodnight Mommy$46,532-27%94$5,170$141,4442RADiUS-TWC
7Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine$44,223-51%36-29$1,228$401,9063Magnolia Pictures
8The New Girlfriend$39,035--13--$3,003$39,0351Cohen Media Group
9A Brilliant Young Mind$38,48123%1815$2,138$79,7632IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
10Amy (2015)$37,083-42%41-18$904$8,237,49612A24
11Coming Home (2015)$35,79536%107$3,580$80,1132Sony Pictures Classics
12The End of the Tour$34,693-59%49-35$708$2,842,9198A24
13Cooties$33,031--29--$1,139$33,0311Lionsgate Premiere
14Irrational Man$25,971-27%33-14$787$3,918,69910Sony Pictures Classics
15The Diary of a Teenage Girl$24,402-56%25-44$976$1,433,4597Sony Pictures Classics
16Time Out of Mind$23,15722%117$2,105$55,3782IFC Films
17Mad Max: Fury Road$17,453-95%50-226$349$153,629,48519Warner Bros.
18Jimmy's Hall$12,889-60%27-20$477$527,43812Sony Pictures Classics
19Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet$12,748-38%29-1$440$323,6667GKIDS
20Listen to Me Marlon$12,25824%9-6$1,362$405,8188Showtime
21Magic Mike XXL$11,168-27%44-11$254$66,009,97312Warner Bros.
22Best of Enemies$10,566-62%29-24$364$851,6418Magnolia / Participant
23Breathe$9,04679%98$1,005$16,7482Film Movement
24Hero (2015)$6,998-88%530$132$84,9612Eros International
25The Cut$5,327--5--$1,065$5,3271Strand Releasing
26Infinitely Polar Bear$5,04430%185$280$1,413,61414Sony Pictures Classics
27Love & Mercy$4,396-71%18-13$244$12,541,32116Roadside Attractions
28Queen of Earth$4,326-55%110$393$78,3534IFC Films
29The Stanford Prison Experiment$4,322-38%9-5$480$643,55710IFC Films
30Testament of Youth$3,384-31%12-2$282$1,802,92816Sony Pictures Classics
31Tangerine$3,308-52%7-3$473$683,68111Magnolia Pictures
32Olvidados$2,791--1--$2,791$2,7911Cinema Libre
33Chocolat (1989) (2015 re-issue)$2,710--1--$2,710$2,7101The Film Desk
34Dragon Blade$2,322-81%5-6$464$72,4133Lionsgate Premiere
35She's Beautiful When She's Angry$2,061--3--$687$416,64542International Film Circuit
36The Dinner$2,02513%21$1,013$6,3357Film Movement
37We Are Your Friends$1,903-95%17-257$112$3,590,0104Warner Bros.
38Slow Learners$1,450-54%61$242$21,0805IFC Films
39A Borrowed Identity$1,280-55%40$320$276,80313Strand Releasing
40The Look of Silence$1,168-2%82$146$103,58910Drafthouse / Participant
41The Wolfpack$791-58%60$132$1,294,12915Magnolia Pictures
42Rififi (2015 re-issue)$659-90%1-1$659$42,6813Rialto Pictures
43A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence$598-36%31$199$215,78116Magnolia Pictures
44Welcome to Leith$443-88%10$443$8,3592First Run Features
45Before We Go$431-87%3-11$144$36,3713RADiUS-TWC
46The Challenger$368-97%1-27$368$19,0032Wishing Well Pictures
47The Third Man (2015 re-issue)$309--1--$309$429,63513Rialto Pictures
48Mala Mala$289--1--$289$10,51012Strand Releasing
49The Tribe$260-9%10$260$150,56414Drafthouse Films
50Guidance$101-45%10$101$4,0705Strand Releasing