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“The Maze Runner” kicked off a fresh young adult film franchise this weekend when it raced to an $81.5 million debut globally.
Just ask the good folks behind “Ender’s Game,” “Beautiful Creatures,” “Eragon,” “The Giver” and “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” all of which seem unlikely to spawn future sequels. Others, such as “The Mortal Instruments,” probably won’t be generating new chapters, despite protestations to the contrary. Those stories may have devoted readers, but not enough people bought tickets when they made the transition from page to screen.
“Even with a baked-in must-see factor, you never know with this audience,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “They change their minds when wind blows.”
Like “The Maze Runner,” these pictures arrived with literary pedigree allowing their backers to proclaim, »
- Brent Lang
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
Jennifer Lawrence is supporting her man again — and looking hot while doing so. The Hunger Games actress was escorted backstage and later to VIP to watch Chris Martin perform with his band Coldplay during the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 19. Lawrence, 24, turned heads in high-wasted black jeans and a beaded crop top as she made her way through security at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. "People were stopping in their tracks staring at her and talking about how good she looked," [...] »
Sin City offered up throngs of fans for Chris Martin's Friday performance at the iHeartRadio music festival. But one very special Coldplay fan watched the Las Vegas show from the sidelines: Martin's new lady love, Jennifer Lawrence. Following a few quiet date nights at Martin's Malibu home and a romantic dinner on Sept. 8, the actress stepped out to support the musician for a more public - and louder - appearance. "She was off to the side of the stage when he performed," a source tells People. Lawrence, who was seen backstage, showed off her midriff in a studded black crop top, »
- Mark Gray
“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
The Maze Runner — the story of a 16 year-old that wakes up one morning in the middle of an intricate maze that kills anyone that dares to enter it — hits theaters this weekend. It's just the latest in a slew of recent dystopian movies that includes The Hunger Games, Divergent and Elysium.
Now we have a question for you: What is the greatest dystopian movie of all time? Feel free to vote for any film that takes place in a miserable version of the future where there's some sort of oppressive government. »
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
Mazed and Confused: Ball’s Lusterless Debut Another Dystopic Ya Derivative
Pretty teenagers that survive the apocalypse are sure going to have it tough. Or maybe all these Ya geared portrayals of life in the reconstruction period wrapped in video game gloss will serve as subconscious instruction manuals for today’s teens that may eventually be tomorrow’s adults dealing with the tail end of human civilization. If that’s the case, perhaps these sanitized depictions are doing more damage by being crafted solely for the delicate palette of today’s teen entertainment sensibilities. As could be predicted, the strongest aspect of visual and digital effects artist Wes Ball’s foray into directing with franchise courting The Maze Runner, are the film’s visual effects. Given the circumstances and the parameters administered, the look of the film is just fine. But, as often is the case with these types of motion pictures, »
- Nicholas Bell
In this day and age we, as a society, have become obsessed with the idea of a post-apocalyptic life. This has created an enormous output of post-apocalyptic young adult fiction titles. From I Am Legend to The Road, and from World War Z to The Hunger Games, these fiction titles have been transposed to film for the good of both movie fans and producers alike. The latest installment in this craze is The Maze Runner. The novel by James Dashner, on which the film is based, is the first book in a trilogy about a group of boys that live inside of a maze. Too vague?
The Maze Runner centers around Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), a young man without any memory, except for his name. He is thrown into the middle of “The Glade,” a society of only boys that exists in the center of a maze. Day in and day out, »
- Steve Goldberg
Frankly, 2015 could use less tentpoles. With "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Ant-Man," "Star Wars: Episode VII," "Jurassic World," "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2," "Terminator: Genisys," "James Bond 24," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and more all due, one being pushed back is a bit of a relief. And we're not surprised it's "Assassin's Creed." The Michael Fassbender-starring, Justin Kurzel-directed video game adaptation seems like an awesome idea on paper, but with an August release next year, and no start date in sight, Fox has pushed the movie back to the dreaded Tbd. Fassbender has a busy schedule coming up with "The Light Between Oceans" shooting this fall and "X-Men: Apocalypse" next spring, and "Assassin's Creed" could theoretically fit between the two, but we'd reckon it'd be a tight squeeze. So swooping into its place is "The Fantastic Four," which »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Every new Ya movie that includes a supernatural or dystopian aspect now sits in the shadow of The Hunger Games. The 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. A young man awakens in an elevator with no memory of how he got there, his life, or even his name. When the elevator comes to the top, »
- Matt Goldberg
Each week Variety publishes ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (Dar), a measurement of fan engagement across all the major digital platforms as it relates to film (see the TV version here). Provided by ListenFirst Media, Dar measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia combined. For more on the methodology behind Dar, scroll to the bottom of the article.
Digital Audience Ratings (Dar) Weekly Top 5 Wednesday Sept 10, 2014 – Tuesday Sept 16, 2014 Rank Last Week Film Rating(000) 1 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 11,646 2 4 Fury 2,247 3 – No Good Deed 2,219 4 2 The Fault in Our Stars 1,749 5 – The Maze Runner 1,457 -
Key First time on the chart Pinnacle Rank -
Trending Wednesday Sept 10, 2014 – Tuesday Sept 16, 2014 Film Rating(000) % Change John Wick 909 +13,145% The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 11,646 +1,043% The Guest 245 +358%
After an extensive social countdown, the highly anticipated first full trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I” was released on »
- Jason Klein
Lionsgate has hired Kerry Phelan, former head of consumer products and licensing for DreamWorks Animation, to the newly-created position of exec VP of global franchise management and strategic partnerships.
The hire comes as the studio focuses on exploiting its key franchises — “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.”
Phelan has been involved with the “Star Wars,” “Shrek” and Lego brands. Lionsgate noted that while at DreamWorks Animation, she significantly increased that studio’s consumer products revenue and expanded DreamWorks’ location-based entertainment operations into Singapore, Brazil, Australia and other international markets.
“With her track record of cultivating some of the biggest brands in motion picture history, Kerry is ideally qualified to develop and execute retail, merchandising and location-based entertainment initiatives for Lionsgate’s growing portfolio of franchises,” said Palen. “From Lego to ‘Star Wars’ and Pixar to DreamWorks, she has established herself as »
- Dave McNary
Lionsgate has tapped former DreamWorks Animation consumer products head Kerry Phelan to turn its movie franchises into new business lines. The hire follows Lionsgate unveiling plans to turn its The Hunger Games movie franchise into theme park attractions. Phelan, who becomes executive vp global franchise management and strategic partnerships, will focus on film franchises, while also turning TV, home entertainment, Pantelion and Codeblack film brands into new revenue streams. "From Lego to Star Wars and Pixar to DreamWorks, she has established herself as a master strategist who knows how to make global brands even bigger and more successful, and she
- Etan Vlessing
In a sky room full of stars, Jennifer Lawrence shined brightest. The actress watched boyfriend Chris Martin's band Coldplay perform at the Ace Hotel Theatre in L.A. Wednesday. Wearing all black and barely any makeup, Lawrence wore a crop top with a high-waisted, knee-length skirt and an over-the-shoulder bag. "She danced the entire time," a source tells E! News. Lawrence is clearly a fan of Martin's musical talents. "She knew every word to every song and there was a glisten in her eye as she watched Chris perform," the source says. "She couldn't take her eyes off him." Coldplay performed their biggest hits, including "Atlas" from The Hunger Games: Catching »
J.Law really loves Coldplay! Chris Martin's band performed at the Ace Hotel Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sept. 17, and guess who was in the crowd? His new lady, Jennifer Lawrence. The Hunger Games star has been dating recently uncoupled Martin for around three months. They were first spotted together at the singer’s New York gig in August, and have just started stepping out in public. As Us Weekly reported, the duo enjoyed a dinner date in Beverly Hills together ten days ago. But the 24-year-old [...] »
Lionsgate has unveiled a collection of new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 images from the first half of director Francis Lawrence’s conclusion to the franchise. As seen in the full-length trailer, the story finds Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss on the frontlines of an all-out war between the rebels of District 13 and the Capitol. These new images showcase Katniss’ battle-readiness, but the highlight of Mockingay – Part 1 for me continues to be Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer’s Cressida. She looks absolutely badass in the role, and after hearing Dormer’s thoughts on women in the movie industry at the “Women Who Kick Ass” panel at this year’s Comic-Con, I’m essentially ready to vote her into office. Hit the jump to take a look at the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 images. The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, »
- Adam Chitwood
Jennifer Lawrence knows you need more than a pretty face and a hot bod to be beautiful. And on Sunday, the 24-year-old Oscar winner stepped out in Malibu, Calif., with a bold statement about inner beauty emblazoned on her T-Shirt in the form of quote from Roald Dahl's The Twits. It read: "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." Cute, right? J.Law, who is currently romancing Gwyneth Paltrow's ex Chris Martin, paired her poignant shirt with a pair of tiny Daisy Dukes and flip flops. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 star also pulled hair up in beneath a slouchy gray beanie, toted a hipster-chic weaved purse and rocked pair of »
Weeks after snagging rights to popular Ya franchises Divergent and The Hunger Games, TNT has set its sights on Marvel, securing five of the studio's upcoming movies. In the new pact announced Wednesday, the Turner-owned cable network will get the television premieres of unreleased films from Marvel Studios, including Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015) and Captain America 3 (May 6, 2016). The three other movies TNT will get through the pact have not been named, though Marvel has dates booked through 2019. And Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd as the titular hero, has a release date of
- Philiana Ng
Who says the romantic comedy is dead? Sure, it has epic battles, tricky politics, pertinent allegories, and rich and complicated characters, but everyone knows that the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale is the real reason why “The Hunger Games” series is so darn popular. See video: New ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Trailer Sends Katniss To Rescue Peeta Thankfully, that is a blatant lie, and even more thankfully, distributor Lionsgate is well aware of that. They're marketing the hell out of “Mockingjay – Part 1,” but none of it looks like the rom-com spot that Jimmy Kimmel ran on his show on Tuesday. »
- Jordan Zakarin
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