'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 Tue, Sep. 30 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Sep. 30 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Equalizer$3,631,65922%3,236--$1,122$40,739,8321Sony / Columbia
2The Maze Runner$1,252,17729%3,63834$344$60,175,9302Fox
3The Boxtrolls$862,91418%3,464--$249$18,871,5941Focus
4This Is Where I Leave You$808,45441%2,8680$282$23,824,9002Warner Bros.
5A Walk Among the Tombstones$541,96038%2,7142$200$21,764,5052Universal
6Guardians of the Galaxy$341,09720%2,451-395$139$319,794,6249Disney
7No Good Deed (2014)$340,21919%2,130-45$160$47,158,2043Sony / Screen Gems
8Dolphin Tale 2$234,0868%3,376-280$69$34,068,4693Warner Bros.
9Let's Be Cops$161,08723%1,534-778$105$79,921,1747Fox
10The Drop$150,44337%1,131-61$133$9,902,0583Fox Searchlight
11Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)$111,44021%1,585-763$70$187,385,4838Paramount
12If I Stay$73,11616%1,272-1099$57$49,264,7406Warner Bros. / New Line

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Sep. 30 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Skeleton Twins$133,10717%385336$346$2,573,3073Roadside Attractions
2The Hundred-Foot Journey$84,70530%719-534$118$52,743,1478Disney / DreamWorks
4When the Game Stands Tall$42,5107%794-908$54$29,306,3796Sony / TriStar
5The Giver$41,5615%702-905$59$43,919,5827Weinstein Company
6Más Negro que la Noche$37,10315%178--$208$609,1651Lionsgate / Pantelion
7Dawn of the Planet of the Apes$23,81212%232-42$103$207,649,40712Fox
8As Above/So Below$23,52510%428-642$55$21,071,6355Universal
9The November Man$20,39228%418-1060$49$24,859,7975Relativity Media
10Hercules (2014)$17,10113%229-59$75$72,417,59410Paramount
11How to Train Your Dragon 2$15,353-2%277-39$55$175,890,69916Fox / DreamWorks Animation
12A Most Wanted Man$12,60641%116-78$109$17,085,49310Roadside Attractions
13The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby$12,25916%1393$88$459,0623Weinstein Company
14Into the Storm$11,0889%257-313$43$46,680,6908Warner Bros. / New Line
15Cantinflas$10,39313%129-123$81$6,280,9705Lionsgate / Pantelion
16The Expendables 3$8,43035%232-352$36$39,003,5207Lionsgate
17Transformers: Age of Extinction$5,364-11%132-32$41$245,382,03314Paramount
18Tammy$5,03118%120-35$42$84,426,12113Warner Bros. / New Line
19Earth to Echo$4,6885%144-7$33$38,763,12313Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Sep. 30 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hector and the Search for Happiness$39,53593%9490$421$316,5292Relativity Media
2Khoobsurat$16,16485%614$265$650,6122UTV Motion Pictures
3Jimi: All Is By My Side$10,765-13%34--$317$120,0831XLrator Media
4Tracks (2014)$8,09912%2824$289$118,4402Weinstein Company
5Pride (2014)$7,9675%6--$1,328$97,5171CBS Films
6Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$7,45941%40-10$186$7,476,17326Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For$7,06639%8624$82$13,730,7156Weinstein / Dimension
8X-Men: Days of Future Past$2,93913%53-22$55$233,899,52919Fox
9Calvary$2,751-13%34-65$81$3,547,2479Fox Searchlight
10And So It Goes$1,83115%20-20$92$15,159,19510Clarius Entertainment
11Step Up All In$1,8143%65-89$28$14,901,1528Lionsgate / Summit
12The One I Love$1,26539%20-15$63$502,8656RADiUS-TWC
13Begin Again$96021%13-12$74$16,137,42314Weinstein Company
14Keep On Keepin' On$84265%1-1$842$23,3572RADiUS-TWC
16Two Night Stand$7355%5--$147$17,0351eOne Films US