NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Actuals: 'The Maze Runner' Easily Leads with Strong $32.51M; 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' #2 with $12.76M; 'This Is Where I Leave You' #3 with $11.56MSeptember 22, 2014 01:20 PM

by Daniel Garris

As was widely expected, Fox's The Maze Runner debuted comfortably in first place this weekend with $32.51 million. The modestly budgeted young adult adaptation opened in line with expectations and performed well with its price tag in mind. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Maze Runner delivered the sixth largest opening weekend performance of all time for the month of September. The Maze Runner opened 20 percent stronger than the $27.02 million start of last year's Ender's Game and going forward is likely to hold up better than Ender's Game did in part from facing relatively softer competition.

The Maze Runner debuted with $11.26 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.1 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased 20 percent on Saturday to gross $13.47 million and fell 42 percent on Sunday to gross $7.78 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at an encouraging 2.89 to 1. The Maze Runner received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which is also an encouraging early sign.

The Maze Runner grossed $3.3 million from 351 IMAX locations this weekend. That represented 10.1 percent of this weekend's overall gross.

After this weekend's performance, Fox has scheduled The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials for release on September 18, 2015.

A Walk Among the Tombstones debuted in second place with $12.76 million. Universal's modestly budgeted action thriller starring Liam Neeson opened just below pre-release expectations. A Walk Among the Tombstones opened softer than Liam's recent vehicles; including 35 percent softer than the $19.67 million debut of 2012's The Grey. A Walk Among the Tombstones opened with $4.76 million on Friday (which included an estimated $0.43 million from late night shows on Thursday), increased a modest 7 percent on Saturday to take in $5.07 million and declined 42 percent on Sunday to gross $2.93 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of just 2.68 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film was nearly evenly split between genders (51 percent female, 49 percent male) and skewed heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (77 percent). A Walk Among the Tombstones received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore and is likely to take a significant hit next weekend when Sony's anticipated The Equalizer arrives in the marketplace this coming Friday.

Warner's This Is Where I Leave You opened in third place with $11.56 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey opened towards the lower end of its modest expectations. This Is Where I Leave You opened 15 percent below the $13.53 million start of 2011's The Change-Up. This Is Where I Leave You started with $3.87 million on Friday, increased a very solid 28 percent on Saturday to take in $4.94 million and declined 44 percent on Sunday to gross $2.75 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.99 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (63 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (86 percent). This Is Where I Leave You received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Sony's No Good Deed was down three spots and 60 percent from last weekend's first place debut to place in fourth with $9.79 million. While the low-budget thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson experienced a sharp second weekend decline, in the bigger picture the film is still performing well with a ten-day take of $39.70 million. That places No Good Deed 5 percent ahead of the $37.75 million ten-day gross of 2009's I Can Do Bad All By Myself (which fell 58 percent in its second weekend to gross $9.88 million).

Dolphin Tale 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $8.87 million. The family sequel from Warner Bros. was down 44 percent from last weekend, as it was unable to duplicate the second weekend strength of 2011's Dolphin Tale (which fell just 27 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.91 million). Dolphin Tale 2 has grossed a respectable $26.93 million in ten days, but is currently running 28 percent behind the $37.18 million ten-day take of Dolphin Tale.

Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy placed in sixth with $5.24 million. The blockbuster sci-fi superhero film from Marvel was down a very solid 35 percent from last weekend. With a massive 52-day take of $313.73 million, Guardians of the Galaxy is set to soon surpass the $318.41 million unadjusted final gross of 2008's Iron Man.

On the limited front, A24's Tusk was off to a very soft start with $0.85 million from 602 locations. That gave the low-budget Kevin Smith directed horror film a per-location average of just $1,407 for the frame.

Daily Domestic Gross Sun, Mar. 23 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Mar. 23 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Divergent$11,970,266-40%3,936--$3,041$54,607,7471Lionsgate / Summit
2Muppets Most Wanted$5,203,550-27%3,194--$1,629$17,005,1261Disney
3Mr. Peabody & Sherman$3,808,018-28%3,607-344$1,056$81,134,9423Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4300: Rise of an Empire$2,446,301-33%3,085-405$793$93,592,1943Warner Bros.
5Need For Speed$2,257,975-34%3,1150$725$30,565,5142Disney / DreamWorks
6Non-Stop (2014)$1,678,650-42%2,945-238$570$78,709,5554Universal
7The LEGO Movie$1,320,939-29%2,501-539$528$243,385,9187Warner Bros.
8Son of God$950,350-14%2,139-851$444$55,669,0734Fox
9Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club$749,290-47%1,8960$395$12,913,0812Lionsgate
10Frozen (2013)$236,812-29%1,069-397$222$397,744,86218Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Mar. 23 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1God's Not Dead$3,103,938-6%780--$3,979$9,217,0131Freestyle / Pure Flix
2The Grand Budapest Hotel$1,967,940-33%304238$6,473$12,998,4743Fox Searchlight
3The Monuments Men$243,953-45%938-656$260$75,684,8757Sony / Columbia
43 Days to Kill$152,965-42%752-814$203$29,733,5275Relativity Media
5Ride Along$152,750-48%650-374$235$133,120,35510Universal
6Veronica Mars$127,647-37%34756$368$2,832,9192Warner Bros.
712 Years a Slave$119,396-40%522-403$229$56,030,34723Fox Searchlight
8The Nut Job$111,233-26%335-70$332$62,600,84010Open Road
9RoboCop (2014)$62,975-38%328-637$192$57,082,5996Sony / Columbia
10Gravity$62,549-41%202-118$310$273,089,37525Warner Bros.
11Philomena$57,823-38%297-205$195$37,089,37118Weinstein Company
12American Hustle$54,312-52%281-222$193$149,806,72115Sony / Columbia
13The Wolf of Wall Street$51,196-42%215-71$238$116,688,94313Paramount
14About Last Night$48,465-46%214-410$226$48,267,7646Sony / Screen Gems
15The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$40,224-32%224-53$180$258,039,17615Warner Bros. / New Line
16Dallas Buyers Club$38,507-47%178-103$216$27,065,80921Focus
17Lone Survivor$37,980-41%211-105$180$124,810,30113Universal
18Pompeii$32,346-42%201-470$161$22,814,0305Sony / TriStar
19The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$31,981-37%211-57$152$424,532,47818Lionsgate
20Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$21,775-42%128-24$170$50,426,42810Paramount
21August: Osage County$17,478-39%141-62$124$37,601,05213Weinstein Company
22Winter's Tale$10,338-35%14494$72$12,556,1576Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Mar. 23 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Bad Words$146,915-32%8781$1,689$660,8172Focus
2Her (2013)$21,106-33%73-48$289$25,377,94214Warner Bros.
3That Awkward Moment$16,137-48%93-29$174$25,974,3108Focus
4Gloria (2014)$13,522-27%50-25$270$1,983,5159Roadside Attractions
5Walking With Dinosaurs$7,798-13%59-39$132$36,020,02214Fox
6Blood Ties$7,423-32%28--$265$26,9121Roadside Attractions
7The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$5,731-55%63-25$91$58,162,21713Fox
8Repentance$5,689-51%43-83$132$1,179,3274Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
9Ernest & Celestine$4,174-10%7-2$596$93,7584GKIDS
10Vampire Academy$4,161-25%3523$119$7,773,3527Weinstein Company
11Stalingrad (2014)$2,317-21%13-57$178$987,7504Sony / Columbia
12Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$1,410-18%18-5$78$8,316,02717Weinstein Company
13The Art of the Steal (2014)$1,186-26%15-45$79$61,4462RADiUS-TWC
14Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$558-11%1--$558$23,8147Rialto Pictures