'Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials' #1, But Below Its Predecessor with $30.3M; 'Black Mass' #2 with $22.6M Start; 'Everest' Climbs to Promising $7.2M in IMAX/PLF DebutSeptember 21, 2015 12:54 PM

by Daniel Garris

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials debuted in first this weekend with $30.32 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, without adjusting for ticket price inflation The Scorch Trials delivered the eighth largest September debut of all-time (just ahead of 2009's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials outpaced Black Mass by a comfortable $7.68 million in the battle for first place this weekend.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opened with $11.00 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 declined 42 percent on Sunday to gross $7.07 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.76 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 $22.64 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 low-end and earlier expectations. Given its moderate price tag, 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 just 5 percent below 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 $8.77 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.4 million from Thursday night shows), was unchanged on Saturday with $8.77 million and declined 42 percent on Sunday to gross $5.10 million. That gave the film a relatively front-loaded opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.58 to 1, which isn't the greatest initial sign for the film. Black Mass 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 $11.57 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 $42.56 million. That places the film 32 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 62 percent to land in fourth with $9.75 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 $41.46 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 $7.22 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 $13,251 for the frame. Everest took in $2.30 million on Friday, was up an encouraging 30 percent on Saturday to gross $2.99 million and declined 36 percent on Sunday to gross $1.93 million. That placed the film's weekend to Friday ratio at a strong 3.14 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 $6.22 million. Continued strong word of mouth continues to drive the Kendrick Brothers produced faith based film, as it was down a slim 20 percent from last weekend. War Room has grossed a terrific $49.05 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 eleventh place start of just $1.39 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 $401,288 from 6 locations. That gave the crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin a per-location average of $66,881 for the frame. Sicario will expand into wide release on October 2nd.

Daily Domestic Gross Mon, Feb. 16 2015

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Feb. 16 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water$8,550,121-19%3,65413$2,340$103,140,0552Paramount
2Fifty Shades of Grey$7,838,900-57%3,646--$2,150$93,010,3501Universal / Focus
3Kingsman: The Secret Service$5,555,196-46%3,204--$1,734$41,761,5271Fox
4American Sniper$2,365,038-51%3,436-449$688$306,478,1368Warner Bros.
5Paddington$1,734,57529%2,244-644$773$63,963,8675Weinstein / Dimension
6Jupiter Ascending$1,501,428-43%3,1810$472$33,876,5932Warner Bros.
7The Imitation Game$692,265-32%1,551-412$446$80,311,82512Weinstein Company
8Seventh Son$689,760-44%2,874-1$240$14,111,9802Universal
9Project Almanac$536,485-34%1,732-1168$310$20,130,1273Paramount
10Black or White$478,057-33%1,591-232$300$17,882,6733Relativity Media
11The Wedding Ringer$462,886-46%1,456-682$318$60,050,3505Sony / Screen Gems
12The Boy Next Door$227,045-52%1,192-1001$190$34,038,5254Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Feb. 16 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
2Big Hero 6$213,861--317--$675$219,482,36615Disney
3Birdman$172,925-33%481-185$360$36,630,75518Fox Searchlight
4The Theory of Everything$163,480-26%466-136$351$33,339,00415Focus
5Taken 3$148,979-48%691-816$216$86,940,7056Fox
6Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb$131,2228%282-155$465$111,143,8099Fox
7Into the Woods$109,363-1%287-463$381$126,408,4718Disney
8The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies$95,577-28%272-231$351$253,668,5879Warner Bros. / New Line
9Old Fashioned$85,485-60%224221$382$1,126,1992Freestyle Releasing
10Penguins of Madagascar$72,6573%222-35$327$82,450,66312Fox / DreamWorks Animation
11The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015$72,657--244--$298$1,779,5043ShortsHD
12Annie (2014)$72,3824%22710$319$85,351,3119Sony / Columbia
13The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1$59,616-30%232-93$257$336,187,65913Lionsgate
14A Most Violent Year$57,368--186--$308$5,282,4737A24
15Strange Magic$56,71528%175-1147$324$11,895,8234Disney
16Wild (2014)$51,663-39%185-101$279$36,974,61811Fox Searchlight
19Two Days, One Night$25,648--120--$214$1,100,6508IFC Films
20The Loft$21,550-50%245-1596$88$5,886,6093Open Road
21The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death$10,649-57%10113$105$26,376,3897Relativity Media
22Boyhood$10,218--110--$93$25,221,01632IFC Films

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Feb. 16 2015LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Somewhere Only We Know$32,178--46--$700$337,1121China Lion Film
2Timbuktu$23,104--33--$700$313,6673Cohen Media Group
3Song of the Sea$16,256-5%365$452$412,6169GKIDS
4Hubble 3D$14,136--7--$2,019$47,576,968257Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Inherent Vice$13,894-26%45-26$309$8,032,00110Warner Bros
6Spare Parts$12,356-28%54-81$229$3,446,5675Lionsgate / Pantelion
7Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day$10,674--53--$201$66,927,31619Disney
8Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$10,125-23%350$289$8,740,03546Warner Bros. / IMAX
10The Last Five Years$9,433-24%3--$3,144$51,4751RADiUS-TWC
11Exodus: Gods and Kings$9,157-42%66-64$139$64,975,09710Fox
12Ballet 422$7,755--6--$1,293$79,7262Magnolia Pictures
13Big Eyes$6,855-35%66-45$104$14,398,3168Weinstein Company
14Black Sea$6,098-41%92-261$66$1,152,9004Focus
15Buen Día, Ramón$5,908-52%29--$204$146,5913Fox International Productions
16Journey to the South Pacific$5,893--13--$453$5,758,98364IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
17Cake$5,258-29%34-41$155$1,942,6324Cinelou Releasing
18St. Vincent$4,872-66%7740$63$44,079,92919Weinstein Company
20The Book of Life (2014)$3,074--19--$162$50,145,72018Fox
21The Gambler$2,468-46%46-57$54$33,675,2278Paramount
22Horrible Bosses 2$2,231-36%44-49$51$54,441,33712Warner Bros. / New Line
23The Tale of The Princess Kaguya$1,643-39%84$205$672,30018GKIDS
24Gone Girl$1,222-52%25-48$49$167,759,61320Fox
25Born to Be Wild 3D$1,134--7--$162$23,914,145202Warner Bros. / IMAX
26Mommy$1,037--10-11$104$3,482,8884Roadside Attractions
27The Duke of Burgundy$920--8--$115$43,2234IFC Films
28Boy Meets Girl$752--4--$188$12,2052Bramacharia LLC
29The Homesman$5053%5-4$101$2,426,78614Roadside Attractions
30Force Majeure$476--5--$95$1,345,40817Magnolia Pictures
31Girlhood (2015)$230--2--$115$30,5033Strand Releasing
32A Tale of Winter (2014 re-issue)$52--1--$52$23,2689Big World Pictures
33The Babadook$7--11--$1$933,12412IFC Midnight