Hollywood gladly turned the page on a summer to forget and got autumn off to a brisk start as Fox’s young adult thriller, “The Maze Runner”, wound its way to $11 million last evening, including the $1+ million from its Thursday night late shows, which projects to a weekend estimate of $33 million, which sets the film up for a nifty return on investment. That weekend total would make the film the fifth highest September opening of all time, neck and neck for that position with the original “Rush Hour”. The grosses on “Maze” improved steadily as the day went on (yet another reason Box Office Insider doesn’t post matinee updates) as the early returns translated to a weekend gross that wouldn’t escape $25-28 million territory. The film also received an A- Cinemascore which sets it up well for a strong Saturday and a hefty multiple. Twitter reaction this morning is very positive.
The news wasn’t quite so ducky for the other openers as moviegoers found “A Walk Among The Tombstones” a bit too dark and gloomy for their taste. The film’s projected $14 million (off an opening night of $4.5 million) will be Liam Neeson’s lowest star turn in many moons and the B- Cinemascore won’t help matters much either. Warners’ “This Is Where I Leave You” obviously left moviegoers more than a bit cold as well. Despite a B+ Cinemascore, the film could only tally $4+ million last night which should translate to roughly $12 million for the three day stanza.
PROJECTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TOP 10
1) THE MAZE RUNNER—FOX—$33 MILLION ($11 MILLION FRIDAY)
2) A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES—UNIVERSAL—$14 MILLION ($4.5 MILLION FRIDAY)
3) THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU—WARNER BROTHERS—$12 MILLION ($4 MILLION FRIDAY)
4) NO GOOD DEED—SONY/SCREEN GEMS—$10 MILLION—59% DROP
5) DOLPHIN TALE 2—WARNER BROTHERS—$8.5 MILLION—46% DROP
6) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY—BUENA VISTA—$5.5 MILLION—32% DROP
7) TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES—PARAMOUNT—$2.8 MILLION—42% DROP
8) LET’S BE COPS—FOX—$2.5 MILLION—42% DROP
9) THE DROP—FOX SEARCHLIGHT—$2.0 MILLION—51% DROP
10) IF I STAY—WARNER BROTHERS—$2.0 MILLION—49% DROP