As was widely expected, Fox's The Maze Runner debuted comfortably in first place this weekend with an estimated $32.5 million. The modestly budgeted young adult adaptation opened in line with expectations and performed well with its price tag in mind. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Maze Runner delivered the sixth largest opening weekend performance of all time for the month of September. The Maze Runner opened 20 percent stronger than the $27.02 million start of last year's Ender's Game and going forward is likely to hold up better than Ender's Game did in part from facing relatively softer competition.
The Maze Runner debuted with $11.25 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.1 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased 19 percent on Saturday to gross $13.43 million and is estimated to fall 42 percent on Sunday to gross $7.83 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at an encouraging 2.89 to 1. The Maze Runner received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which is also an encouraging early sign.
The Maze Runner grossed $3.3 million from 351 IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 10.2 percent of this weekend's overall gross.
After this weekend's performance, Fox has scheduled The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials for release on September 18, 2015.
A Walk Among the Tombstones debuted in second place with an estimated $13.13 million. Universal's modestly budgeted action thriller starring Liam Neeson opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. A Walk Among the Tombstones opened softer than Liam's recent vehicles; including 33 percent softer than the $19.67 million debut of 2012's The Grey. A Walk Among the Tombstones opened with $4.7 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.43 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased a modest 8.5 percent on Saturday to take in $5.1 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $3.33 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.79 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film was nearly evenly split between genders (51 percent female, 49 percent male) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (77 percent). A Walk Among the Tombstones received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore and is likely to take a significant hit next weekend when Sony's anticipated The Equalizer arrives in the marketplace this coming Friday.
Warner's This Is Where I Leave You opened in third place with an estimated $11.86 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey opened in line with its modest expectations. This Is Where I Leave You opened 12 percent below the $13.53 million start of 2011's The Change-Up. This Is Where I Leave You started with $3.9 million on Friday, increased a very solid 28 percent on Saturday to take in $4.98 million and is estimated to decline 40 percent on Sunday to gross $2.99 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.04 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (63 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (86 percent). This Is Where I Leave You received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
Sony's No Good Deed was down three spots and 58 percent from last weekend's first place debut to place in fourth with an estimated $10.2 million. While the low-budget thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson experienced a sharp second weekend decline, in the bigger picture the film is still performing well with a ten-day take of $40.11 million. That places No Good Deed 6 percent ahead of the $37.75 million ten-day gross of 2009's I Can Do Bad All By Myself (which fell 58 percent in its second weekend to gross $9.88 million).
Dolphin Tale 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $9.01 million. The family sequel from Warner Bros. was down 43 percent from last weekend, as it was unable to duplicate the second weekend strength of 2011's Dolphin Tale (which fell just 27 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.91 million). Dolphin Tale 2 has grossed a respectable $27.07 million in ten days, but is currently running 27 percent behind the $37.18 million ten-day take of Dolphin Tale.
Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy placed in sixth with an estimated $5.18 million. The blockbuster sci-fi superhero film from Marvel was down 36 percent from last weekend. With a massive 52-day take of $313.67 million, Guardians of the Galaxy is set to soon surpass the $318.41 million unadjusted final gross of 2008's Iron Man.
On the limited front, A24's Tusk was off to a very soft start with an estimated $0.89 million from 602 locations. That gave the low-budget Kevin Smith directed horror film a per-location average of just $1,472 for the frame.