‘The Maze Runner’ finishes first

ScreenerBlog

It doesn’t look as if Hollywood will forgo churning out young adult adaptations anytime soon. The latest hit to enter the ranks of adolescent-targeted features is The Maze Runner, which opened stronger than expected. The flick raked in $32.5 million from 3,604 locations, earning back nearly the entirety of its $34 million budget over a single weekend. Twentieth Century Fox is certainly pleased with the film’s performance: The studio has already greenlit a sequel, The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, which is slated for a September 18, 2015 release.

Thanks to its male protagonist and a marketing campaign that focused on Runner’s action sequences, the movie skewed more male (49 percent) than previous YA adaptations. The guys and their female counterparts awarded The Maze Runner a CinemaScore grade of an A-, which bodes well for the rest of the film’s time in theatres. If Runner’s hold does prove relatively secure, it could wind up with a total several million shy of $100 million.

As expected, A Walk Among the Tombstones took second place, although its second-string haul was less than predicted. The latest Liam Neeson crime vehicle grossed $13.1 million, or more than 50 percent less than the actor’s recent Non-Stop. The mostly older crowd (77 percent over 25) that did turn out for the film left feeling lukewarm – audiences awarded the movie a CinemaScore grade of a B-. With upcoming, stiff competition from The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, Tombstones is poised to fade rather quickly. In total, it may wind up grossing around $40 million.

This Is Where I Leave You also failed to meet already modest expectations. The dramedy with a marquee cast only did $11.9 million worth of business for a third-place standing. The film, unsurprisingly, skewed older (86 percent over 25) and female (63 percent). Viewers deemed the feature worthy of a B+. Look for Leave You to tally out to a total in the $30 to $40 million range.

Fourth and fifth place went to last weekend’s No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. No Good Deed dropped 58 percent to earn $10.2 million, while Dolphin Tale 2 took a dip of 43 percent to rake in $9 million for the weekend.