A group of kids trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland squared off against a legendary gangster at the box office this weekend. According to the estimates from Box Office Mojo, the kids prevailed, with 20th Century Fox's The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials taking the top spot this weekend with $30.3 million, while Warner Bros.' crime drama Black Mass took second place with $23.3 million. Black Mass received a much better reception from the nation's critics, scoring a solid 76% "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, while The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials posted a 49% "Rotten" rating from the site. Both of those ratings are down from earlier this week, though, when Black Mass had an 87% rating and The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials had a 62% rating.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opened in 3,791 theaters this weekend, posting a solid $7,993 per-screen average in its opening weekend. While it did take the top spot, it was actually a bit lower than the opening of its predecessor, The Maze Runner, which opened in the same weekend last year to the tune of $32.5 million. The first movie, based on James Dashner's young adult novel, earned $102.4 million domestically and $238.3 million internationally for a worldwide total of $340.7 million, from a $34 million budget. The sequel was produced with a $61 million budget, so with this lower opening weekend, it may have a tougher time earning a profit than the first movie.
The Maze Runner stars Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee and Patricia Clarkson return for the sequel The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, with Wes Ball coming back to direct. The follow-up also boasts a slew of new characters as well, played by Nathalie Emmanuel and Aidan Gillen, who both co-star on Game of Thrones, along with Katherine McNamara, Giancarlo Esposito and Lili Taylor. After escaping the massive maze known as The Glade, these youngsters are faced with surviving in the desolate wasteland of Earth, now known as The Scorch. This adaptation will be followed by the final installment in this beloved Maze Runner franchise, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait a big longer for the finale, with The Maze Runner: The Death Cure set to hit theaters on February 17, 2017.
Warner Bros.' R-rated drama Black Mass pulled in a solid $7,327 per-screen average from 3,188 theaters. The film was produced from a $53 million budget, under the direction of The biopic of James 'Whitey' Bulger stars Johnny Depp, in a rare villainous turn as the Boston mobster, who was a fixture on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List, often right behind Osama Bin Laden. This gangster served as the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's Frank Costigan in The Departed and Pete Postlethwaite's Fergus "Fergie" Colm in The Town. Also starring in director Scott Cooper's crime drama is Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Adam Scott and Peter Sarsgaard.
Holdovers The Visit ($11.3 million, $42.3 million domestic) and The Perfect Guy ($9.6 million, $41. million domestic) dropped to third and fourth place, respectively, with new release Everest rounding out the top five with $7.5 million. The thriller, based on the true story of a Mount Everest expedition that claimed the lives of 12 climbers, opened exclusively in 545 IMAX theaters, posting the best per-screen average in the top 10, with $13,872. The film will expand nationwide starting September 25 after its week-long IMAX-only run, although we don't have an exact theater count yet. Everest, directed by Baltasar Kormákur, features a star-studded cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and John Hawkes.
The top 10 was rounded out by War Room ($6.2 million, $49 million domestic), A Walk in the Woods ($2.7 million, $24.7 million domestic), Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation ($2.2 million, $191.7 million domestic), Straight Outta Compton ($1.9 million, $158.9 million domestic) and new release Captive in the 10-spot with $1.4 million. Captive opened in 806 theaters, pulling in a paltry $1,737 per-screen average. Although it dropped out of the top five, War Room continues to impress at the box office, expanding into 298 more theaters this weekend for a total theater count of 1,945. The film was produced for just $3 million, and with the film expanding each weekend, it continues to post minimal drops from the previous weekend, with these estimates just 19.6% down from last weekend's tally.
Opening in limited release is the critically-acclaimed Sicario, which is already garnering plenty of Oscar buzz. The film pulled in an astonishing $390,000 from just six theaters, for an incredible $65,000 per-screen average. The crime drama starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin will expand into more theaters next weekend, before getting a nationwide release on October 2. Also opening in limited release was Pawn Sacrifice, which earned $206,879 from 33 theaters, for a $6,269 per-screen average. No box office numbers were posted for other movies opening in limited release, The Weinstein Company's About Ray, starring Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon, Cinedigm's War Pigs starring Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren and Cooties starring Elijah Wood.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies debut in wide release, Sony Animation's comedy sequel Hotel Transylvania 2, Warner Bros.' comedy The Intern and High Top Releasing and Blumhouse's The Green Inferno. Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern currently don't have enough reviews on Rotten Tomatoes yet, but The Green Inferno, which was originally set to hit theaters last fall, currently has a 63% RT rating. Opening in limited release next weekend is Broad Green Pictures' 99 Homes starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, Drafthouse's The Keeping Room starring Hailee Steinfeld and Sam Worthington, A24 Films' Mississippi Grind starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, and Stonewall, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again on Tuesday for next week's estimates. Until then, take a look at this weekend's top 10 at the box office.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:
|1||The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials|
|4||The Perfect Guy|
|7||A Walk in the Woods|
|8||Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation|
|9||Straight Outta Compton|