Friday Update #2: Early reports suggest The Maze Runner is trending for an opening weekend around $24 million based on Friday business. The west coast isn't yet a factor in that projection, though. Unfortunately, it's looking like the latest young adult adaptation will fall well short of tracking, but Fox is still likely in the black thanks to a modest production budget.
Liam Neeson's A Walk Among the Tombstones could net around $15 million this weekend as he continues to prove his box office drawing power. While it doesn't quite match the star's recent openers, the gritty flick was always going to be harder sell than the mainstream-friendly likes of Non-Stop and Taken.
Last but not least, This Is Where I Leave You is pacing for an opening weekend close to $10 million.
We'll have official studio estimates for Friday's grosses tomorrow morning, along with more concrete weekend projections. Check back then.
Friday Update #1: Sources report that The Maze Runner hauled in $1.1 million from Thursday night shows. That's a far cry from Divergent's $4.9 million Thursday start earlier this year and conflicts with this week's reports of strong weekend tracking in the $40 million+ range. The early bow also fell under Ender's Game's $1.4 million last November (onward to a $27 million weekend). As Friday progresses, the hope is that young audiences will turn out after school hours instead--a significant possibility given that Maze debuted at 10pm last night. Fortunately, the film's $34 million production budget means huge numbers aren't necessarily required for success.
Meanwhile, A Walk Among the Tombstones posted $428,000 last night. By comparison, fellow Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop earned $720,000 on Thursday as part of a $28.9 million weekend back in February.