The YA sequel ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ outpaced the competition to a $30.3 million dollar opening and the #1 spot in the Top 5.  Johnny Depp’s harder sell, the violent mob drama ‘Black Mass’ amassed $23.36 M for a #2 debut.  Respectable for sure, but one of Depp’s lowest opening ever.  Doing quite well is ‘Everest’ which only opened in IMAX to the tune of $7.6 M, making it the #5 movie of the weekend.

More after the numbers:

  1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (20th Century Fox) – $30.3 Million
  2. Black Mass (Warner Brothers) – $23.36 Million
  3. The Visit (Universal) – $11.3 Million
  4. The Perfect Guy (Sony) – $9.7 Million
  5. Everest (Universal) – $7.6 Million

‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ won the weekend, but the second film of the trilogy did not do as well as the first ‘Maze Runner’ which opened on the same weekend last year with a $32.5 M haul. This follows the pattern of the ‘Divergent’ series.  The second film, ‘Insurgent’ opened with $2.4 million less than the first.  While the films are making money, it seems that their appeal is not extending beyond their niche audience.  Maybe instead of super hero fatigue, Hollywood should start bemoaning dystopian YA novel adaptation fatigue.  (Or trilogy fatigue.)

But ‘The Scorch Trials’ has already opened worldwide and has racked up over $100M so Fox should have no worries in releasing the third and final film in 2017.

One factor working against ‘The Scorch Trials’ was the lack of 3D IMAX screenings.  Universal had those theaters on lock down with the 3D IMAX-only release of ‘Everest’ which only appeared on 545 screens, averaging $13,897 per screen.  ‘Everest’ will open in wide release next weekend, but the ‘A’ audience rating it is already garnering should push it to #1 easily.  ‘Everest’ was originally scheduled to release wide this weekend, but Universal chose the rare strategy of opening it in 3D IMAX first to create more of an event feel and to build word-of-mouth.

Next weekend will likely see ‘The Scorch Trials’ flame out as ‘Everest’ expands to 2D theaters in wide release.  Also opening are the Robert Deniro/Anne Hathaway comedy ‘The Intern’ and animated sequel ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’.

Sources: Rentrak and Box Office Mojo