Weekend Box Office: THE EQUALIZER Shoots to the Top with $35 Million

by     Posted 24 days ago

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As expected, The Equalizer came out on top this weekend, earning an estimated $35 million from 3,236 locations.  That’s surprisingly strong for a September debut – especially considering the movie is based on a TV series few people remember.  The credit goes to Denzel Washington, who has one of the best opening weekend records of any A-list actor.  Not all of Washington’s films in the past decade have gone on to be hits (Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), but the man can definitely open a movie.  The Equalizer is Washington’s best box office debut since 2012’s Safe House and it also gives director Antoine Fuqua the highest opening of his career.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Equalizer $35,000,000 $35
2.  The Maze Runner $17,500,000 $58
3.  The Boxtrolls $17,250,000 $17.2
4.  This Is Where I Leave You $7,010,000 $22.5
5  Dolphin Tale 2 $4,835,000 $33.6
6.  No Good Deed $4,600,000 $46.6
7.  A Walk Among the Tombstones $4,234,000 $20.8
8.  Guardians of the Galaxy $3,789,000 $319.1
9.  Let’s Be Cops $1,515,000 $79.6
10.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $1,450,000 $187.1

 

Details after the jump.

Friday Box Office: THE EQUALIZER Heads For $35 Million Bow; THE BOXTROLLS in Third

by     Posted 25 days ago

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The Equalizer had no trouble claiming first place on Friday, opening to an estimated $12.6 million from 3,236 locations.  That puts the Sony/Columbia thriller on track for around $35 million this weekend: by far the best bow for an R-rated September release.  Based on the 1980’s TV series of the same name, The Equalizer looks like it will become the latest Denzel Washington vehicle to over-perform at the box office.  Since 2004, the actor has not had a single wide release open below $20 million – a record that even perennial box office favorites like Johnny Depp and Mark Wahlberg cannot match.  The Equalizer reunites Washington with Antoine Fuqua, his Training Day director.  Fuqua’s previous career high was the $30.3 million debut of 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen.

Friday’s top five after the jump.

THE COLLISION: Episode 104 – THE MAZE RUNNER

by     Posted 29 days ago

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This week on The Collision, Perri and I talk about this past weekend’s big hit, The Maze Runner.  We talk about why it works as a movie, how it differs from the book, how greater fidelity to the source material might have improved the film, how the picture fits into the larger YA movie landscape, and more.  As always, we finish up with recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“The Good, the Bad, and the Oscar-Worthy of TIFF 2014″), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @PNemiroff.

Book to Screen: THE MAZE RUNNER Works But Can’t Compare to James Dashner’s Book

by     Posted 29 days ago

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First off, I enjoyed Maze Runner the movie quite a bit.  It’s got a great pace, stunning visuals and strong performances all-around, but there are some significant differences between the book and the film and, simply put, the book does it better.  One of the biggest challenges of adapting a book to film is condensing it and more so than ever when you’re working with a narrative that goes down in a brand new environment like The Glade.

Not only did director Wes Ball have to develop a Glade full of multidimensional characters, but he also had to set up a brand new world and convey the rules that govern it.  The situation is actually pretty straightforward – there are kids trapped in a maze and they have to figure out how to get out – but then you’re wondering, why are they there?  Who put them there?  What’s going on in the outside world?  It isn’t easy answering those questions in less than two hours and that’s where the movie pales in comparison to the book, but there are other elements that are strong enough to make The Maze Runner one of the more successful YA adaptations we’ve got.  Hit the jump for the ups and downs of the adaptation process.  Warning: There are major spoilers for the book and the movie in this feature. 

THE MAZE RUNNER Sequel, THE SCORCH TRIALS, Set for September 18, 2015

by     Posted 31 days ago

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The Maze Runner sprinted to a successful opening at the box office this weekend, and now 20th Century Fox is moving forward on the sequel, The Scorch Trials, which will be released on September 18, 2015.  The sequel was already in pre-production since director Wes Ball showed off some concept art at The Maze Runner’s Comic-Con panel this past July.  Additionally, work on the sequel script began almost a year ago.  For studios, the most important element to YA franchises is speed, and as long as the debut is a success, the sequel is already loaded and ready to go.  We saw it with Divergent and Insurgent earlier this year.  On the flipside, don’t expect to see a sequel to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones anytime ever.

Hit the jump to check out The Scorch Trials concept art along with a synopsis for James Dashner’s novel of the same name.  [Spoiler Warning: The concept art basically gives away the ending of The Maze Runner.]

Weekend Box Office: MAZE RUNNER Leads with $32.5 Million; TOMBSTONES Soft in Second with $13.1 Million

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Among this weekend’s three new releases only Fox’s The Maze Runner showed strength.  The sci-fi thriller brought in an estimated $32.5 million from 3,064 locations for the sixth-biggest September debut of all time.  Way back in second place with $13.1 million from 2,712 locations, A Walk Among the Tombstones suggests that audiences may be tiring of Liam Neeson and his now-familiar tough guy roles.  Finally, despite an ensemble cast that includes Jason Bateman and Tine Fey, This Is Where I Leave You failed to hit its very modest $15 million target.  In short, it was business as usual for the September box office.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Maze Runner $32,500,000 $32.5
2.  A Walk Among the Tombstones $13,126,000 $13.1
3.  This Is Where I Leave You $11,860,000 $11.8
4.  No Good Deed $10,200,000 $40.1
5.  Dolphin Tale 2 $9,005,000 $27
6.  Guardians of the Galaxy $5,180,000 $313.6
7.  Let’s Be Cops $2,675,000 $77.2
8.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $2,650,000 $185
9.  The Drop $2,050,000 $7.7
10.  If I Stay $1,835,000 $47.6

Full story after the jump.

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

by     Posted 32 days ago

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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.

THE MAZE RUNNER Review

by     Posted 34 days ago

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Every new YA movie that includes a supernatural or dystopian aspect now sits in the shadow of The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games has taken on an epic sci-fi approach weaving social commentary into its dystopian setting.  Divergent is content to be a Hunger Games imitator.  And now we have The Maze Runner, a film edging towards the mystery and sci-fi of The Hunger Games, but trying to find its own way by establishing a unique world that still plays with familiar coming-of-age themes.  Thankfully, director Wes Ball‘s confident feature debut creates a distinct, intriguing setting packed with thrilling action scenes.  Despite the lack of a strong lead performance, Ball has successfully translated a new young adult property to the big screen.

THE MAZE RUNNER Clip and Character Posters; Plus Additional Promos Featuring The Grievers

by     Posted 48 days ago

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If you’re going to survive The Maze Runner, you’ve got to follow the rules.  You’ve got to check out the map room, get your section assignment, gear up and only then can you run into the maze to try to find a way out.  And if that’s not hard enough, you’ve also got to make sure you make it back into The Glade before those doors close, otherwise, the Grievers will get you.

It’s always been clear that the James Dashner book has some serious big screen potential, but now that The Maze Runner promo material is pouring in ahead of the film’s September 19th release, it’s more evident than ever.  Hit the jump to catch a brand new The Maze Runner clip as well as some new promo videos and character posters, too.

3 New THE MAZE RUNNER Clips and James Dashner Walk and Talk Featurette

by     Posted 63 days ago

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Almost any film can end up with a sleekly edited trailer, but film clips are different.  Sure, they’re completely out of context, but there’s no better way to get a good sense of tone and the potential of the performances than by seeing a more comprehensive version of a scene.

20th Century Fox just unveiled three brand new clips from their September 19th release, The Maze Runner, and if their intensity is any indication, the full feature is going to be one heck of a film.  Hit the jump to catch all three The Maze Runner clips as well as a featurette of author James Dashner touring the set of the film.

THE MAZE RUNNER Featurette Introduces The Gladers

by     Posted 70 days ago

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Admittedly I was hoping this thing was “Meet the Gladers” as in meet the characters of the film, but it’s still nice to see how well the ensemble cast gets along.  Rather than introduce us to Thomas, Gally, Teresa, Minho and Newt, we get to hear about Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangter’s experience making The Maze Runner, which apparently was a particularly enjoyable shoot.

The film marks Wes Ball’s feature directorial debut and he seems like he was pretty happy on set too, so hopefully the fun of making it winds up translating into a high quality film.  Check out the good times on set for yourself in The Maze Runner featurette after the jump.  The film is set to hit theaters on September 19th and also stars Blake Cooper, Aml Ameen and Patricia Clarkson.

Comic-Con: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, James Dashner and Wes Ball Talk THE MAZE RUNNER, First Fan Reactions, and the Film’s Maturity

by     Posted 83 days ago

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Arriving in theaters September 19 is The Maze Runner, director Wes Ball‘s adaptation of James Dashner‘s hit YA novel of the same name. The story centers on a group of teenagers stuck in a place known only as “The Glade” with no memory of who they are or how they got there, and only one way out – through a giant, ever-shifting maze harboring deadly creatures called “Grievers”. The Maze Runner stars Dylan O’BrienKaya ScodelarioWill PoulterThomas Brodie-Sangster, and Patricia Clarkson.

Last weekend at Comicon I spoke with O’Brien, Scodelario, Poulter, Ball and Dashner about the film. They talked about the overwhelmingly positive reaction from the first fan screening, filming in the harsh Louisiana conditions, why the maturity of the film will surprise people, what they’re most excited for fans to see, and more. Check out what they had to say after the jump.

THE MAZE RUNNER Debuts Nine New Posters; Some With a Refreshingly Classic Look

by     Posted 85 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released nine new posters for The Maze Runner (this is in addition to the surprisingly good trailer that hit earlier today), director Wes Ball’s adaptation of the James Dashner novel.  The story revolves around a teenager who wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or what the maze is either.  As stakes continue to mount, though, they realize they must find a way out before it’s too late.

The character posters fall a little flat to me, but the conceptual ones out of this batch are really worth a look.  The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson. Hit the jump to check out the The Maze Runner posters.  The film opens in theaters on September 19th.

New MAZE RUNNER Trailer: Dylan O’Brien Seeks Answers as the Threat of Danger Grows

by     Posted 85 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released a new The Maze Runner trailer for director Wes Ball’s adaptation of the James Dashner novel.  The story revolves around a teenager who wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or what the maze is either.  As stakes continue to mount, though, they realize they must find a way out before it’s too late.  I’ll admit this film wasn’t really high on my radar, but after getting a further look at footage (including this trailer) at the Comic-Con panel last week, my interest has grown considerably.  There’s a strong central mystery at work, but I also like the Lord of the Flies aspect of the kids trapped inside the maze.  This trailer does a great job of teasing the large scope of the film and its more action-geared sequences, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the full film entails.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia ClarksonThe Maze Runner opens in theaters on September 19th.

THE MAZE RUNNER Comic-Con Panel Recap: Dylan O’Brien and More Reveal the Grievers; Wes Ball Says He’s Aiming to Shoot Sequel This Fall or Winter

by     Posted 89 days ago

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The “YA adaptation” genre has been rather female-dominated when it comes to feature films, but a unique entry is aiming to take hold this fall with Fox’s The Maze Runner.  Based on the James Dashner novel of the same name, the story revolves around a teenager who wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or what the maze is.  Fox touted the film this Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, with Dashner, director Wes Ball, and stars Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario in attendance.

In addition to discussing their approach to the adaptation, entering into a marketplace that has recently been dominated by female-led stories, and changes from the book, Ball revealed that they’re hoping to start shooting the sequel The Scorch Trials later this year if the first film performs well.  Hit the jump to read my full The Maze Runner Comic-Con panel recap.

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