Fox reports that Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials bowed to an estimated $11.0 million on Friday, including Thursday's $1.7 million early show gross. While not a bad number by any means, that does fall over 2 percent short of the original's $11.2 million opening day despite having a $600,000 comparable advantage in Thursday night earnings. The first film was very well received by fans and posted unusually strong legs for the young adult genre as it went on to earn over $100 million domestically. Pre-release traditional tracking had been consistently in line with that of The Divergent Series: Insurgent (whose opening day was $21.2 million), suggesting a much higher opening weekend was in store for Scorch Trials. Unfortunately, poor reviews (49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes so far) and weaker fan reception (70 percent on Flixster versus 82 percent for the first pic) are softening demand for the sequel -- not to mention the late surging buzz of other openers this weekend. BoxOffice is projecting a $28 million opening frame, which could still give it first place.
Meanwhile, Black Mass pulled an estimated $8.815 million on opening day, according to Warner Bros. Johnny Depp's hugely buzzed-about turn as infamous real-life gangster Whitey Bulger has drawn strong reviews and early awards season chatter, translating into significant interest among adult crowds and the actor's fans. The opening day take was right in line (slightly ahead, in fact) with other recent gangster flicks like The Town ($8.35 million in September 2010), Depp's own Public Enemies ($8.2 million on a July 2009 Wednesday), and of course, 2006's The Departed ($8.7 million). For director Scott Cooper, Black Mass' first day already makes it his best opener yet following Out of the Furnace and Crazy Heart. The studio reports a middling "B" CinemaScore, but audiences on Flixster have awarded it an encouraging 80 percent as of this morning -- lining up with critics' positive 76 percent RT score. BoxOffice is projecting the film will tally close to $26 million this weekend in a strong second place debut.
In third place yesterday, M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit was off 61 percent from opening day last week to $3.57 million. That's a typical drop even for well-received horror pics. With $34.6 million in the bank through eight days of play, the Shyamalan/Jason Blum collaboration is continuing its profitable run. Look for a sophomore weekend around $10.8 million.
The Perfect Guy slipped to fourth place on Friday as it slid 69.5 percent from opening day last week to $3.025 million yesterday. That gives it $34.74 million in all so far, 6 percent ahead of the pace of No Good Deed. BoxOffice projects a $10 million second weekend.
Impressively taking fifth place yesterday was Universal's Everest. The dramatized true-story of the 1996 climbing tragedy opened to $2.3 million exclusively in 545 IMAX 3D and PLF 3D screens this weekend to generate buzz ahead of its wide expansion next week. This further cements the viability and appeal of premium screen formats for large scale films, not to mention adds another winner-to-be on Universal's record year. The studio is projecting Everest will take in a fantastic $7.1 million this weekend.
Just outside the top five yesterday was War Room as it continues to post excellent holding power. The drama was down only 15 percent from last Friday to $1.85 million and now boasts a $44.7 million domestic take. Look for a weekend around $6.7 million.
Also opening this weekend was another faith-based film, Captive from Paramount. Its $647,000 estimated opening day was just under 90 Minutes In Heaven's $758,767 bow last Friday -- about as good as can be expected with now three major faith-driven films in the market. BoxOffice projects a $1.7 million weekend for Captive.
Last but certainly not least, Lionsgate bowed Sicario in six locations to an excellent $133,810 on Friday, similar to the $135,602 earned by Birdman in four theaters on opening day last year. That registers as a $22,301 per-theater average for the Mexican-based crime thriller and sets Sicario up for a weekend around $420,000. The film will expand into wide release in early October.