Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: The Maze Runner Winds Its Way To Number One

A Walk Among the Tombstones and This Is Where I Leave You round out the top three.

by | September 21, 2014 | Comments



The latest young-adult-novel-to-film took control of the box office as The Maze Runner more than doubled its nearest competitor, while films with much more star power opened quietly in second and third.

Generating the sixth biggest September opening in history, Fox’s The Maze Runner debuted with a very strong $32.5M from 3,604 theaters for a per screen average of $9,018, according to estimates. Turning young adult novels into films has been a hit-or-miss kind of thing over the last few years. For every Hunger Games or Harry Potter there has been a Beautiful Creatures or Vampire Academy. While The Maze Runner won’t reach the heights of the former, its opening weekend has already beaten out the entire runs of the latter. There are two sequels to the book and one prequel in the works so we may have gotten another young adult franchise off the ground.

Second place belonged to Liam Neeson and A Walk Among the Tombstones. Opening in 2,712 theaters, the film only managed to reach an estimated $13.1M, for a per screen average of $4,840. Reviews for the film were better than the two Taken films and Neeson’s last thrill ride, Non-Stop, but the Cinemascore for his latest revenge flick was a poor B-, meaning it simply did not connect with audiences. That could help explain why the opening was so much lower than the three films it is destined to be compared against, but one would have imagined from the trailers alone people would have gone out opening weekend as this is the type of role they’ve come to enjoy from Neeson. Time will tell if the Neeson-as-action-star genre has faded when Taken 3 opens in January.

The year of generic movie names continued with This is Where I Leave You opening in third place with an estimated $11.8M from 2,868 screens for an average of $4,135. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rose Byrne (who, as those of you who read my reviews know, I believe should be in every movie) and Adam Driver, the comedy from Warner Bros. had a B+ Cinemascore, which is good, but not great. Even with the starpower, did the movie get lost in the shuffle because it was poorly named? Look at the name of some of the films from this summer and see if you can tell the difference between them: Stay, Begin Again, Wish I Was Here, If I Stay, And So It Goes, What If, and Are You Here. By the time This Is Where I Leave You hit theaters this weekend, it kind of felt like I had already seen the film because it sounded like half a dozen other ones. Middle-of-the-road reviews certainly didn’t help, but if you don’t make your movie stand out in the marketplace these days, you’ll get buried beneath the noise.

Last week’s top film No Good Deed fell 58% from its strong opening to an estimated $10.2M, bringing its total up to $40M. Look for it to end its run in the $60M range. Following closely behind was Dolphin Tale 2 which had a smaller drop of only 43%, taking in an estimated $9M this weekend, bringing its cume to $27M with a final total likely in the $45M range.

The current number one film of the year, Guardians of the Galaxy ended up in sixth place this weekend with the smallest drop in the top 10, falling 36% to an estimated $5.2M, bringing its total to an out-of-this-world $313M. With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and the finale of The Hobbit trilogy still looming, it’s unlikely Guardians of the Galaxy will remain the top film of 2014, but it has been an incredible debut ride for the latest heroes in the Marvel universe.

Holdovers took the final four spots in the top 10 this weekend. The comedy hit Let’s Be Cops took in an estimated $2.675 this weekend bringing its total up to an impressive $77M. The heroes in a half shell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was very close behind with $2.65M, according to estimates (look for a possible change in order when the final numbers come in on Monday), bringing its total to $185M. Fox Searchlight’s The Drop tumbled 50% in its second outing to an estimated $2M, bringing its total to $7.7M with not much left to go. And rounding out the top 10 was If I Stay which took in an additional $1.8M, according to estimates, for a $47.6M total so far.

Debuting poorly outside the top 10 was Kevin Smith’s horror-comedy Tusk which managed to generate almost no interest, taking in an estimated $886,000 from 602 screens for a per screen average of only $1,472.

The top 10 grossed an estimated $91M this weekend, which is up 30% from 2013 when Prisoners debuted at number one with $20.8M; and up 26% from 2012 when End of Watch led the charts with $13M.

Follow Sujit on Twitter!

Tag Cloud

Rock Peacock spider-man Kids & Family FX Lifetime Crackle Rocky Year in Review green book Valentine's Day Shondaland what to watch TV 20th Century Fox Lionsgate video Watching Series Winter TV Marvel ESPN anime harry potter stoner Animation Disney+ Disney Plus screenings Oscars vampires Sneak Peek 24 frames BBC America crime drama Nominations First Look Mystery discovery cults concert Endgame animated sag awards Calendar Ellie Kemper cancelled television 2015 cinemax Video Games zombies Bravo Photos VOD Amazon Prime YouTube free movies book politics SXSW space teaser Summer Cosplay E! Polls and Games dramedy game of thrones New York Comic Con IFC LGBTQ Superheroes spy thriller Certified Fresh Hear Us Out Britbox Disney Plus Women's History Month documentary SundanceTV DirecTV ratings binge SDCC 71st Emmy Awards Anna Paquin AMC Country based on movie Brie Larson Warner Bros. dceu Thanksgiving comic TCA Winter 2020 Writers Guild of America Red Carpet Holiday asian-american 2019 Pride Month Song of Ice and Fire documentaries Syfy TCA Disney movies Winners technology HBO RT History Emmy Nominations 2020 singing competition 2018 4/20 TV renewals aliens Teen versus films Sony Pictures social media jamie lee curtis ABC Family historical drama strong female leads werewolf Reality Extras Comic Book The CW BET Family Martial Arts CBS All Access Marvel Television Disney streaming service Superheroe Spike DC Comics Lifetime Christmas movies Turner Cannes Pet Sematary breaking bad golden globes Hallmark Christmas movies video on demand Classic Film Ovation The Walking Dead Cartoon Network streaming President TCA 2017 Tubi parents Captain marvel Musicals adventure Rocketman foreign FOX PBS unscripted National Geographic Paramount Network movie Creative Arts Emmys The Arrangement satire Travel Channel Netflix halloween Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pop TV Food Network Acorn TV Discovery Channel Walt Disney Pictures WarnerMedia Film composers boxoffice Starz dogs TBS Tomatazos theme song LGBT Apple TV Plus FX on Hulu franchise BAFTA IFC Films biography Christmas San Diego Comic-Con OneApp Pixar Comics on TV The Witch directors romance toy story CMT PaleyFest cats El Rey OWN Apple blaxploitation WGN batman thriller Countdown Binge Guide GoT transformers Pop Emmys slashers nature canceled chucky ghosts game show psycho reboot Hallmark blockbuster APB Dark Horse Comics cops Crunchyroll crime Infographic Horror MTV cancelled GLAAD History First Reviews miniseries Interview psychological thriller die hard Fantasy American Society of Cinematographers Shudder Awards Tour Baby Yoda Holidays NYCC VICE cartoon award winner justice league spanish language comics Biopics christmas movies finale sitcom NBC Quiz Paramount true crime Drama Action Mary Tyler Moore critics hist serial killer Epix news Star Trek The Purge natural history Amazon Prime Video Premiere Dates hispanic See It Skip It TCM tv talk A&E Black Mirror reviews children's TV elevated horror Election sequel Logo X-Men Comedy Central USA Network Star Wars USA Netflix Christmas movies Trivia Esquire BBC One Fox News best war spinoff Freeform Chernobyl Podcast Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt VH1 Marvel Studios facebook Universal comedies zombie Black History Month HBO Go Avengers disaster witnail Vudu E3 YouTube Premium Apple TV+ zero dark thirty DC Universe Spectrum Originals RT21 latino docudrama casting 45 sports Heroines Musical Fall TV crime thriller universal monsters twilight Trophy Talk screen actors guild rotten movies we love political drama Funimation CBS Pirates TIFF CW Seed name the review dark period drama Lucasfilm cancelled TV shows Academy Awards Amazon MCU series crossover TruTV cooking Amazon Studios travel DC streaming service Sundance Showtime adaptation Rom-Com Mary Poppins Returns Columbia Pictures Television Academy Ghostbusters south america doctor who comiccon Turner Classic Movies 2016 independent Opinion CNN HBO Max Hulu Elton John joker mission: impossible TLC Sundance TV indie Tarantino Disney Channel all-time Mudbound robots BET Awards Comedy GIFs Set visit criterion kids Best and Worst BBC television Arrowverse spain anthology revenge romantic comedy Nat Geo medical drama quibi canceled TV shows Sundance Now Film Festival Sci-Fi A24 TNT dragons scary movies MSNBC cancelled TV series mockumentary supernatural ABC Marathons Masterpiece YA Toys 2017 cars 21st Century Fox talk show Mindy Kaling Tumblr diversity festivals dc Awards mutant Mary poppins Box Office Trailer ITV child's play Music PlayStation science fiction DGA Nickelodeon police drama Spring TV renewed TV shows Character Guide indiana jones Western 007 Reality Competition Schedule a nightmare on elm street Super Bowl YouTube Red Adult Swim stand-up comedy Grammys FXX richard e. Grant Stephen King TV Land