'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 Sat, Nov. 15 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Nov. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Big Hero 6$16,404,851105%3,77312$4,348$100,032,1432Disney
2Dumb and Dumber To$13,923,350-2%3,154--$4,415$28,149,4651Universal
4Beyond the Lights$2,642,32615%1,789--$1,477$4,947,1591Relativity Media
5Gone Girl$2,141,75358%1,959-265$1,093$151,567,8267Fox
6St. Vincent$1,753,89155%2,332-123$752$32,118,0726Weinstein Company
7Fury (2014)$1,673,63649%2,382-452$703$74,924,9705Sony / Columbia
9Nightcrawler$1,293,12544%2,103-663$615$24,155,7483Open Road
10John Wick$978,07050%1,758-394$556$38,321,1584Lionsgate / Summit
11Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day$776,180106%1,633-748$475$61,931,1396Disney
12The Book of Life (2014)$431,678126%1,006-1160$429$47,011,2455Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Nov. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Birdman$1,122,00260%857397$1,309$10,947,6455Fox Searchlight
2The Judge$490,27362%803-412$611$44,117,4106Warner Bros.
3Rosewater$452,9957%371--$1,221$875,1201Open Road
4The Best of Me$297,61622%722-388$412$25,588,3365Relativity Media
5The Maze Runner$296,68156%524-488$566$99,916,2809Fox
6The Equalizer$212,58660%375-241$567$98,759,7528Sony / Columbia
7Dracula Untold$160,86062%383-447$420$55,629,7506Universal
8Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)$90,057119%207-29$435$191,109,11015Paramount
9Dear White People$87,06349%105-72$829$3,846,8205Roadside Attractions
10Dolphin Tale 2$78,415111%265-20$296$41,673,82210Warner Bros.
11The Boxtrolls$77,054118%181-162$426$49,279,6548Focus
12Annabelle$62,45445%252-378$248$83,798,9847Warner Bros. / New Line
13Addicted$55,73053%146-95$382$17,213,5576Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
14This Is Where I Leave You$35,00150%151-39$232$34,178,0999Warner Bros.
1522 Jump Street$28,73358%118-11$244$191,701,91523Sony / Columbia

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Nov. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Theory of Everything$318,08651%4136$7,758$824,0252Focus
3Let's Be Cops$28,47065%94-22$303$82,282,58814Fox
4How to Train Your Dragon 2$26,439156%971$273$176,870,84923Fox / DreamWorks Animation
5Meet the Mormons$25,00050%588$431$5,766,5186Purdie Distribution
6The Giver$24,14349%93-26$260$45,012,97114Weinstein Company
7Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$19,4738%400$487$8,018,46333Warner Bros. / IMAX
8The Homesman$19,39647%4--$4,849$32,6171Roadside Attractions
9On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter$19,18660%73-158$263$456,9732Hanover House
10Before I Go to Sleep$18,56828%49-771$379$3,207,0353Clarius Entertainment
11The Good Lie$15,7354%28-2$562$2,466,5897Warner Bros.
12Into the Storm$12,959127%55-33$236$47,586,19515Warner Bros. / New Line
13The Tale of The Princess Kaguya$12,77371%28-1$456$398,5595GKIDS
14Pride (2014)$11,17755%32-21$349$1,421,6668CBS Films
15The Skeleton Twins$10,99738%31-20$355$5,198,95610Roadside Attractions
16Left Behind (2014)$8,90031%50-32$178$13,826,1777Freestyle Releasing
17Le jour se lève (2014 re-issue)$5,23665%3--$1,745$8,4171Rialto Pictures
18Kill the Messenger$4,78291%18-14$266$2,423,6206Focus
19Tracks (2014)$3,51333%130$270$499,1149Weinstein Company
20Keep On Keepin' On$1,400-35%4-4$350$136,7999RADiUS-TWC
21Hector and the Search for Happiness$601-63%173$35$938,6359Relativity Media
22Hiroshima Mon Amour (2014 re-issue)$53638%1-3$536$79,8425Rialto Pictures