Friday Box Office: THE MAZE RUNNER Sprints Past A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES on Opening Day

     September 20, 2014

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The Maze Runner, a big screen version of James Dashner’s 2007 novel,  will not be the latest YA adaptation to go down in box office flames.  Bucking the trend that saw page-to-screen conversions like Vampire Academy and The Giver open to disappointing numbers, The Maze Runner looks like it may actually exceed expectations.  The Fox release was originally projected to open to $27 million but, after earning a strong $11.2 million on Friday, the sci-fi thriller is now looking at an opening weekend of $35 million or above.  That’s not quite the level that Divergent hit back in March ($54.6 million) but it is well above the $27 million that Ender’s Game claimed last November.

Details and Friday’s top five after the jump.

a-walk-among-the-tombstones-posterWhile The Maze Runner got off to a sprint, fellow newcomer A Walk Among the Tombstones set a more leisurely pace.  The latest R-rated drama to star born-again tough guy Liam Neeson, Tombstones was projected to open in the $15 million range – already lower than any of the actor’s previous R-rated dramas including 2012’s The Grey ($19.6 million).  With Friday’s estimate of $4.7 million, however, Tombstones could come in closer to $13 million.

The weekend’s final new release is This Is Where I Leave You, Warner Bros.’s family dramedy starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman (among many others).  Despite the fact that the R-rated ensemble opened in more locations than A Walk Among the Tombstones (2,868 to 2,712), it failed to excite much interest on Friday and should end the weekend in-line with its modest $11 million pre-release projection.

After seven weeks in the top five, Guardians of the Galaxy was pushed to number six behind Dolphin Tale 2 yesterday.  Meanwhile, last weekend’s number one film, No Good Deed, took a 67% hit on Friday and is looking at a comparable drop in its sophomore frame.  We’ll have complete box coverage and the weekend top ten tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  The Maze Runner $11,250,000 $11.2
2.  A Walk Among the Tombstones $4,700,000 $4.7
3.  This Is Where I Leave You $3,910,000 $3.9
4.  No Good Deed $2,950,000 $32.8
5.  Dolphin Tale 2 $2,135,000 $20.2

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