Saturday Update: Fox reports that The Maze Runner picked up an estimated $11.25 million on Friday, a very healthy jump from its modest $1.1 million Thursday night shows (included in Friday's gross). BoxOffice projects the latest young adult adaptation will net around $31 million this weekend--already nearly matching its $34 million production budget. By comparison, Maze's opening day was 14 percent ahead of Ender's Game ($9.8 million) and 51 percent behind Divergent ($22.8 million). Early word of mouth appears very healthy with an 82 percent Flixster score, on par with Divergent's 81 percent.
Liam Neeson's A Walk Among the Tombstones bagged $4.7 million on opening day--27.5 percent behind the $6.5 million first day of The Grey in January 2012, but also 87 percent stronger than Killing Them Softly's $2.5 million first day. Unfortunately, early word of mouth appears mixed with a 66 percent Flixster score. BoxOffice is projecting a solid $14 million weekend for the Universal release.
Warner Bros.' ensemble dramedy This Is Where I Leave You posted $3.91 million on Friday, 6 percent behind Trouble with the Curve's $4.2 million first day and 90 percent ahead of Admission's $2.05 million bow. The film's 70 percent Flixster score leaves a bit to be desired, although this isn't necessarily a film aimed toward the online crowd. As adult audiences are expected to turn out over the weekend, BoxOffice projects an $11.6 million opening frame.
Last week's top film, No Good Deed, sank an expected 67 percent from opening day to $2.95 million. With $32.9 million in the bank through 8 days of release, the Sony thriller has performed ahead of pre-release expectations as it leads the pace of The Call by 32 percent. BoxOffice projects a $9.6 million second weekend.
Dolphin Tale 2 rounded out the top five as it slipped 50 percent from last week's opening day gross to $2.14 million on Friday. By comparison, the first flick eased 32 percent from its first-to-second Friday. The family-friendly sequel has tallied $20.2 million in its first 8 days, 24.5 percent off the pace of its 2011 predecessor. BoxOffice projects an $8.0 million sophomore frame.
Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy was off 35 percent from last Friday to $1.38 million yesterday. The year's top grosser so far is projected to bring in another $5.3 million for the weekend as a whole. With $309.9 million in the bank through Friday, its 50th day of release, Guardians stands 2.6 percent ahead of the pace the original Iron Man.
On the expansion front, The Drop took in $645,000 yesterday as it expanded into 1,192 theaters (up from 809 last week). Yesterday's haul was down 56 percent from opening day. To date, the film has grossed $6.3 million. BoxOffice projects $2.1 million for the current frame.
Unfortunately, no Friday estimates were made available for Kevin Smith's Tusk at the time of publication. The director's latest film opened in 602 theaters this weekend.
Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.
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.