Weekend Box Office: ‘Runner’ Takes the Lead

One of this weekend’s new movies hit the ground running. The others, not so much.

It appears that YA adaptations aren’t about to die off yet. ‘The Maze Runner‘ opened with $32.5 million. That was strong enough to score not only the top spot at the box office, but also a sequel. Striking while the iron is hot, Fox has already announced that a speedy follow-up will hit theaters exactly one year from now. The movie’s also doing well internationally. After a head-start debut that kicked off last week, ‘Maze Runner’ has pulled in $49 million overseas. With many major markets to go, the film will only keep climbing.

Liam Neeson’s ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones‘ didn’t fare as well as his other recent action thrillers, which is most likely due to the gritty R rating. While February’s ‘Non-Stop‘ opened just under $30 million, ‘Tombstones’ only scraped together $13.1 million in its first weekend. When you take into account that the movie only cost $23 million to make, ‘Tombstones’ isn’t exactly a flop, but it’s certainly not the sure thing that the studio hoped for.

Shawn Levy’s ‘This Is Where I Leave You‘ came in just behind that at third place. Despite the mixed critical response, the R-rated ensemble dramedy debuted to $11.8 million. With strong Saturday numbers, next weekend ought to hold over well.

Last weekend’s top movie, ‘No Good Deed‘, dropped a steep 58%. Its $10.2 million second weekend only landed in the #4 spot, but still gave the thriller a ten-day total of $40.1 million total.

Rounding out the Top 5 was ‘Dolphin Tale 2‘. The family-friendly sequel slipped 43% with a $9 million sophomore weekend. Its ten-day total is just $27 million.

Kevin Smith’s horror comedy ‘Tusk‘ failed to make much of a splash in its 602-screen opening. Its $886,000 total gross equates to a lousy $1,472 per-screen average. As bad as that is, the film’s still on track to finish higher than the $1.1 million earned by Smith’s last bad movie, ‘Red State‘.

After being available On Demand for more than a month, Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Zero Theorem‘ pulled in $82,000 from 62 theater screens, and performed about the same (averaging $1,302) on a screen-to-screen basis as ‘Tusk’.

The strongest performer of the limited releases was Simon Pegg’s ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness‘. From four locations, the picture earned $46,000, for a per-screen average of $11,500.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Maze Runner’ (Fox) – $32,500,000

2. ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ (Universal) – $13,126,000

3. ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ (Warner Bros.) – $11,860,000

4. ‘No Good Deed’ (Screen Gems) – $10,200,000

5. ‘Dolphin Tale 2’ (Warner Bros.) – $9,005,000

6. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (Buena Vista) – $5,180,000

7. ‘Let’s Be Cops’ (Fox) – $2,675,000

8. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ (Paramount) – $2,650,000

9. ‘The Drop’ (Fox Searchlight) – $2,050,000

10. ‘If I Stay’ (Warner Bros.) – $1,835,000


      • EM

        Perhaps he was referring to So Is This, also known as This, Michael Snow’s 1982 experimental film which must be a nightmare for people who abhor subtitles. Gosh, I haven’t seen it since film class in ’88. I can understand its not being on Blu-ray, but I wish I could get it on DVD at least. Hm, looks like you can find it chopped up on YouTube.

      • Chapz Kilud

        I thought this thread was about the weekend box office which Maze Runner too the lead. I was referring to Maze Runner. Sorry I was being lazy.

        • EM

          You know, I didn’t really expect the reference to be to So Is This (shorthand for This Is Where I Leave You seemed more likely…but that wasn’t the winning horse either)—but somehow I’m disappointed the Michael Snow film wasn’t where “this” was headed.

  1. Chris B

    Went and watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at a little indie theatre on friday night! It was a licensed event so they were selling adult beverages and this particular theatre even has a few couches set up in addition to standard theatre seats so we snagged one as soon as we walked in. It was such a party atmosphere with a ton of good vibes…great way to kick off the weekend.

    • EM

      Cool. I have plans to see Texas Chain Saw with a friend at a midnight show the Friday night before Halloween. Midnight seems like a good time to go see it. It’ll be a first viewing for me. My friend has seen it before, but I don’t think I can trust him to tell me when to close my eyes—and when to open them again! (Another friend suggested I should just follow the sound of the chainsaw…)

      • Chris B

        Oh man you’ll have a hell of a good time. The friend I brought with me said he didn’t even like horror movies and was actually scared even going to watch it. He had a total blast though, such a great atmosphere in the theatre. Plus it’s such a ferocious goddamn movie…I’m actually kinda jealous because I’d love to go watch it again, let us know how it goes!

        • Luke Hickman

          Audiences can make such a big difference. At my press screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel, the laughter was non-stop. But when I took some friends to see it a few weeks later, the audience was so quiet that my friends didn’t feel comfortable laughing. I cracked up, but they were dry until about the halfway point.

        • EM

          Sure, I’ll report back, if I don’t die of a heart attack or something. Maybe if the movie’s too revolting, I’ll be able to just doze off…a midnight movie is a dicey proposition, considering I’ll have had a long day at work, after which my friend and I will be attending a program of ghost stories in a local park before we can finally make it to the theater…

          • Chris B

            See my buddy was scared of the same thing…having a heart attack or shitting his pants. The scare factor is tempered by the fact that the movie was made 40 years ago
            On a shoestring budget and that has dampened it’s effectiveness somewhat (at least in my opinion), it all just adds up to a really good time, as opposed to a terrifying one.

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