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Dystopic Ya thriller The Maze Runner dashed past the other new releases this weekend for a $32.5 million gross. The result was impressive enough for Fox to announce that they're releasing a sequel, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (it's a trilogy, and there's a prequel too) around this time next year. The weekend's other new releases fared poorly in comparison: Liam Neeson's A Walk Among the Tombstones brought in $13.1 million and the Jason Bateman comedy This is Where I Leave You took in $11.8 million. Last weekend's box office champs — No Good Deed and Dolphin Tale 2 — rounded out the top five with $10.2 million and $9 million respectively. »
- E. Alex Jung
"The Maze Runner" breathed a little life into the box office this weekend with a very good $32.5 million debut. Some polling services had the adaptation of James Rashner's 2007 novel opening closer to $40 million, but considering its the first film since "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" at the beginning of August to open over $30 million Hollywood will happily take it. "Runner" grossed substantially more than "The Giver's" $12 million debut last month, but significantly lower than "Divergent's" $54.6 million in March. The film, which is top lined by "Teen Wolf" star Dylan O'Brien, earned an A- Cinemascore grade which means it should have solid word of mouth in the weeks to come. Disappointing in second place was Universal Pictures' "A Walk Among the Tombstones" with just $13.1 million. The Scott Frank directed thriller is Liam Neeson's lowest wide release opening since "The Next Three Days" in 2010. With a reported production budget of $28 million »
- Gregory Ellwood
On Friday morning, first-time feature director Wes Ball was sweating bullets. His debut film was opening and he was nervous despite the early positive numbers that were already flooding into the box office reporters. “I just don’t want anything to go wrong,” said the young filmmaker in an interview for Entertainment Weekly Radio.
Well, clearly nothing has gone awry with the director’s first entre into feature filmmaking.
For the male-populated young adult adaptation of James Dashner’s best-selling novel The Maze Runner racked up an estimated $32.5 million for a first-place finish, giving Twentieth Century Fox all the necessary »
- Nicole Sperling
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. The Maze Runner, an adaptation of James Dashner’s 2007 novel, »
- Nicole Pedersen
3rd Update, Sunday, 7:53 Am: First of all, another milestone for Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. After only eight weeks in release, this audience favorite has just passed the lifetime cume of Iron Man 2 both internationally (311.5M) and domestically ($312.4M). And Guardians is still playing, making another $5.1M this weekend. Overall, the box office year to date from last year is down 5.5% which is better than it had been in previous weeks.
So … three new movies debuted this weekend and all were based on books. The Ya adaptation The Maze Runner outpaced all others with an estimated $32.5M or a smidgen more, falling just short of the Top Five for all-time September openers. If that number holds, it will be sixth, just under Rush Hour which opened in 1998 with $33M. But after this weekend, with a budget of $35M+ minus the tax break that brought its budget down, »
- Anita Busch
“The Maze Runner” showed that sometimes the weekend box office is a marathon, not a sprint.
Twentieth Century Fox’s adaptation of James Dashner’s post-apocalyptic novel took awhile to build up steam, but found its core audience by the weekend’s midpoint. It debuted to $32.5 million from 3,604 locations, in line with projections. That’s good news for the studio, which hopes to turn the story of a group of teenagers battling nasty creatures in a dangerous labyrinth into a franchise.
“All of the elements came together in accomplishing something that no one ever tried by launching a young adult film like this in September,” said Chris Aronson, Fox’s domestic distribution chief. “We like to stand out whenever we can and we selected this release date in order to be the first event film of the fall.”
The unique opening date allowed “The Maze Runner” to jet ahead of »
- Brent Lang
Now playing in theaters is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You. Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Ben Schwartz, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Lazar, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed. Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend. For more on This is Where I Leave You, read Adam’s review or watch the trailer. Last week I landed an extended video interview with author Jonathan Tropper, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie. He talked about the difficulty of bringing his novel to theaters, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Along with two other new releases, this marks a much-needed box office rebound. The total Top 10 take came to $29 million, almost $8 million higher than the same weekend last year, when "Prisoners" opened to $7 million. Two lower-grossing newbies also boosted the overall take, but neither showed significant strength: "A Walk Among the Tombstones" (Universal), another actioner starring old reliable Liam Neeson, took second place with a modest $4.7 million, much below the initial response to "Non-Stop" and the two "Taken" films. In third place with $3.9 million was the family comedy-drama "This Is Where I Leave You" (Warner Bros.), whose multi-generation ensemble includes Adam Driver, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda. This might get a Saturday night boost, but it's still soft given that there's little competition for older audiences who have proved reliable all year. Last week's top two performers took steep dives as they »
- Tom Brueggemann
"The Maze Runner" is the third major Ya movie to hit theaters in 2014 and while it didn't shatter any records it got off to a very good start on Friday. Directed by Wes Ball, the adaptation of James Rashner's 2007 novel earned an estimated $11.2 million on its first full day of release. That means it should end up with somewhere between $30-32 million for the weekend. That would put it far ahead of "The Giver's" $12 million debut in August, but significantly lower than "Divergent's" $54.6 million opening this past March. The film, which is top lined by "Teen Wolf" star Dylan O'Brien, also earned an A- Cinemascore grade which means it should have solid word of mouth in the weeks to come. Disappointing in second place was Universal Pictures' "A Walk Among the Tombstones" with just $4.7 million. The Scott Frank directed thriller looks as though it will be lucky to hit $14 million by Eod Sunday. »
- Gregory Ellwood
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. While 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, »
- Nicole Pedersen
Shawn Levy is what happens when someone who has never forgotten what it means to be a boy becomes a dad.
The director of Real Steel, the Night at the Museum movies, and the new bittersweet family comedy This Is Where I Leave You (in theaters now), is an undeniable family guy. The father of four girls, he’s known for making movies about households run amok (2003’s Cheaper By the Dozen) and parents who desperately want an evening away (2010’s Date Night,) as well as fathers who redeem themselves in their kids’ eyes with the help of boxing robots or magical museums. »
- Anthony Breznican
The Maze Runner, the new Ya adaptation that hit theaters Friday, chalked up an estimated $11 million for a first-place finish, proving that this over-saturated genre has life left in it yet. Populated with a slew of handsome young male actors led by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner, based on the popular best-selling novel by James Dashner, is on track to pull in close to $30 million. (That’s far better than The Giver, which opened in August to $12 million.) And with Twentieth Century Fox already deep into pre-production on the film’s sequel, the early numbers have »
- Nicole Sperling
“The Maze Runner” opened to $11.3 million Stateside on Friday. Fox’s dystopian drama is on track for a higher-than-anticipated $31 million weekend debut – double the expected earnings for the runner-up, “Walk Among the Tombstones.”
Based on the first book in James Dashner’s trilogy of the same name, the $34 million production follows a group of teenage boys (and one girl) who are trapped in a maze. The young cast is led by “Teen Wolf” star Dylan O’Brien, whose character comes up with a strategy to escape their prison.
Fox hopes to appeal to the young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight” and “Divergent” into thriving franchises.
Universal’s crime thriller “Walk Among the Tombstones” launched to $4.7 million on its way to a $14 million weekend, which is below forecast. Neeson’s most recent movie, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
In This Is Where I Leave You, amidst a tumultuous time in his own marriage, Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) finds himself surrounded by the family members he both loves and can barely tolerate. For seven days following the burial of Judd’s father, the Altman family — led by the perfectly meddlesome family matriarch, Hillary Altman or “Mommy” (Jane Fonda) — must sit Shiva (participate in a week-long mourning period) together under one roof.
Along with sister Wendy (Tina Fey); brother/family screw-up Phillip (Adam Driver) and his much older new-to-the-family fiance, Tracy (a lovely Connie Britton); brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and his wife, Alice (Kathryn Hahn), Judd must navigate through the muddy waters of his own marriage while apprehensively attempting to restore the kinship between him, his mother, and his siblings.
- Mandi Hall
Fox’s dystopian “The Maze Runner” is leaving rivals in the dust as it heads for an opening weekend of about $24 million in the U.S., early estimates showed.
The young-adult vehicle was dominating moviegoing Friday with a forecast of $9 million to $10 million at 3,604 locations, including $1.1 million from late Thursday screenings.
The futuristic saga had been tracking somewhat higher earlier in the week with Fox indicating it expected a launch weekend in the high $20 million range. Instead, “Maze Runner” looks likely to come in the vicinity of last weekend’s leader, Sony’s “No Good Deed,” which opened at $24.5 million.
Fox had deployed the young cast, led by Dylan O’Brien of “Teen Wolf,” on an active promo campaign for “Maze Runner” to tap into the fickle young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” into successful franchises.
Based on James Dashner’s novel, the $34 million tale of teens »
- Dave McNary
The new family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You" gives us Jason Bateman as a cynical lout, Jane Fonda as a towering matriarch, and Adam Driver as a garrulous wild card. Those characterizations are to be expected, but the surprising actor/role pairing is Tina Fey with her character Wendy Altman, who is more troubled and conflicted than Liz Lemon ever was. Director Shawn Levy, who also helmed the Fey project "Date Night," specifically chose Fey for her role because it would be a stretch for her. In fact, he enjoys pushing Tina Fey away from her comfort zone of wry humor. "I have gotten to know Tina a little bit in real life. A fair bit," Levy told us. "I know she has more colors to her. Different moods to her. I got really excited at the chance of bringing those out and encouraging her to show what »
- Louis Virtel
The story is a reinvention of the 1977 film that revolves around Pete and his best friend Elliot, who happens to be dragon. The first pic was a musical, but sources say this will be a straight narrative.
The pic will be live-action with CGI used to bring the dragon to life.
Jim Whitaker is producing.
See Also: ‘Star Wars’ Provides Disney with a ‘Huge Opportunity’
Laurence will be a newly created character named Natalie, another of Pete’s friends. She received a Tony for her work in Broadway’s “Matilda.”
This news only adds to the good month Fegley is having. He can currently be seen as young Eli Thompson on the final season of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire »
- Justin Kroll
Shawn Levy's adaptation of This Is Where I Leave You touts a ton of stars: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Connie Britton, Kathryn Hahn, Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer and Ben Schwartz. While some may say that the ensemble dramedy is crowded with too many personalities (as family reunions often are), author and screenwriter Jonathan Tropper still had to leave a slew of chapters on the cutting-room floor, including Judd's (Bateman) eloquent streams of consciousness and his flashbacks to why he and his older, overachieving brother Paul (Stoll) have been
- Ashley Lee
[This is a re-post of my This Is Where I Leave You review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film opens in theaters nationwide today.] Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, or so the saying goes. There are some trite phrases that, while clichéd, kind of ring true, and in the case of This Is Where I Leave You, director Shawn Levy’s adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel of the same name, the Altman family has certainly seen better days. The patriarch’s dying wish was to have his entire family sit shiva for seven days to mourn his death, and when the Altman clan reunites to fulfill his request, old wounds are opened, past relationships are rekindled, and all are reminded that this isn’t exactly how they envisioned their lives turning out. Buoyed by a stellar ensemble and a standout performance from Adam Driver, Levy mostly succeeds in bringing Tropper’s novel to the screen with plenty of humor, heart, and sentiment. While Levy goes overboard with the »
- Adam Chitwood
Fox’s “The Maze Runner” has started solidly with an estimated $1.1 million from 2,200 locations in late-night Thursday shows.
The futuristic saga of a group of teenagers who must outrace monsters has been expected to win the weekend with forecasts ranging from the high $20 million into the mid-$30 million range when it expands to 3,604 screens.
The cast, led by Dylan O’Brien of “Teen Wolf,” has been actively campaigning for “Maze Runner” in recent weeks across major social media as Fox aims to tap into the young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” into successful franchises.
- Dave McNary
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