'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' #1, But Below Its Predecessor with $30.3M; 'Black Mass' #2 with Solid $23.4M; 'Everest' Climbs to Promising $7.6M in IMAX/PLF Debut

on September 20, 2015 by Daniel Garris
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Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials debuted in first this weekend with an estimated $30.3 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, The Scorch Trials is currently tied with 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs for the eighth largest September debut of all-time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials outpaced Black Mass by an estimated $6.94 million this weekend in the battle for first place.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opened with $11.0 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 is estimated to decline 42 percent on Sunday to gross $7.05 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.75 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 an estimated $23.4 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 earlier expectations. 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 nearly on par with 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 $8.82 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.4 million from Thursday night shows), was unchanged on Saturday with $8.82 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to gross $5.73 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.65 to 1, which isn't the greatest initial sign for the film. The film 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 an estimated $11.35 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 $42.35 million. That places the film 31.5 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 63 percent to land in fourth with an estimated $9.66 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 $41.37 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 an estimated $7.56 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 $13,872 for the frame. The film's 366 IMAX locations were responsible for an estimated $6.0 million of the film's total gross this weekend.

Everest took in $2.3 million on Friday, was up an encouraging 30 percent on Saturday to gross $3.0 million and is estimated to decline 25 percent on Sunday to gross $2.26 million. That places the film's estimated weekend to Friday ratio at a strong 3.29 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 $6.32 million. Continued strong word of mouth continues to drive the Kendrick Brothers produced faith based film, as it was down a slim 19 percent from last weekend. War Room has grossed a terrific $49.16 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 estimated eleventh place start of just $1.40 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 an estimated $390,000 from 6 locations. That gave the crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin a per-location average of $65,000 for the frame. Sicario will expand into wide release on October 2nd.

Tags: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Black Mass, The Visit, The Perfect Guy, Everest, War Room, Captive, Sicario
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