‘Maze Runner’ sequel outpaces ‘Black Mass’ at box office

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Maze Runner’ sprints past ‘Black Mass’.

The young adult thriller took the top spot in 30 of those territories. NEW YORK (AP) — “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” edged out Johnny Depp’s “Black Mass” at box office, as the two films split young and old moviegoers in half on the first weekend of the fall movie season. 20th Century Fox’s sequel to “The Maze Runner” earned an estimated $30.3 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.BOSTON (CBS) — The newly released film “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp has been praised by critics for realistically portraying Whitey Bulger and his criminal history. Its strong start was fueled by healthy debuts in South Korea where it earned $7.5 million, Russia with $3.8 million, Brazil with $2.7 million and Venezuela with $2.5 million. While that came in slightly below the debut of the 2014 young-adult dystopian sci-fi original, it counted as a win for a movie that cost $61 million to make.

Going into the weekend, tracking estimates suggested Twentieth Century Fox’s “Scorch Trials” would surpass the $32.5-million opening of its predecessor, 2014’s “The Maze Runner.” Instead, the sequel fell slightly short of that figure, likely due to the better-than-expected $23.4 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada for “Black Mass,” which finished at No. 2. March’s second “Divergent” movie and last November’s third “Hunger Games” also performed worse than their predecessors at the domestic box office, a possible sign of waning audience interest in the genre.

He spent about five years in prison for assisting Bulger in several murders and was a cooperating witness for the government in Bulger’s trial. “The only resemblance to Whitey’s character was the hairline,” he told The Daily Beast. “And the mannerisms—the way that Whitey talked to us—he never swore at us.” That’s a strong sum for an R-rated adult drama, and it stabilizes a bad box-office run for Depp following “Mortdecai,” ”Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger.” The audience for “The Scorch Trials” was 63 percent below the age of 25, according to Fox, while 89 percent of the audience for “Black Mass” was over 25, according to Warner Bros.

In addition, this summer’s “Paper Towns” performed far worse than the 2014 adaptation of another book by young-adult novelist John Green, “The Fault in Our Stars”—a big surprise to Hollywood. I think our filmmakers, led by Wes Ball, did a tremendous job, especially with diverse casting.” Moviegoers responded positively to the post-apocalyptic story, giving it an average B-plus grade, according to audience polling firm CinemaScore. In good news for the studio, the increased spending paid off in a number of growing foreign markets including South Korea, Russia and Brazil, where the sequel is doing better than the first film. The adventure film debuted this weekend in North America with a special Imax and premium large format run, earning a sizable $7.6 million from 545 locations. Overseas the film opened in first place in more than a dozen locations, including Australia, India, Mexico, the U.K. and Ireland. “Everest” tells the story of a group of mountain climbers whose attempt to summit the famous mountain ends in tragedy.

It cost $55 million to produce and stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal. “Minions” captured third place overseas, grossing an estimated $22.8 million across 57 territories and pushing its worldwide total to $1.12 billion. The bulk of the weekend’s gross came from China, where the Universal and Illumination Entertainment release took first place with $19.8 million despite competition for family audiences from Sony’s “Pixels.” The Adam Sandler video game comedy earned $11.7 million from the People’s Republic. But North American theaters had the distinct feel of fall, with a crowded slate of well-reviewed films — some of them awards hopefuls — opening in more limited release and hoping to build strong word of mouth for longer runs at the multiplex.

With $656.4 million worldwide, the fifth film in the spy series is closing in on “Ghost Protocol’s” $694.7 million global take as it tries to become the highest grossing film in franchise history. It expands wide next weekend. “Sicario,” the Lionsgate drug-war thriller starring Emily Blunt, Brolin and Benicio del Toro, opened in New York and Los Angeles ahead of its expansion over the next two weeks. China has been particularly helpful in that pursuit. “Rogue Nation” picked up $18.2 million in the country and has earned $120 million from China since opening there on Sept. 8. The film, which follows the rise of South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, is based on the nonfiction book “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob” by former Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

The fall season, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office data firm Rentrak, got off to a good start, with a wealth of options for moviegoers and well-reviewed releases that can play beyond opening weekend. “It’s about that playability, the long-term conversation on social media that keeps people buzzing about ‘Sicario,’ ‘Black Mass’ and other films yet to come,” Dergarabedian said. “The moviegoing habit changes in the fall, not only how and when they go to the movies, but how they talk about the movies and for how long.” Paramount Picture’s “Captive,” starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, however, struggled to find moviegoers. Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. executive vice president and general sales manager, called it a “sensational” opening, highlighting the film’s success across the board, but particularly in New England. The suspense thriller “The Perfect Guy” brought in an estimated $9.7 million, dropping 62% in its second weekend and dropping first to fourth place.

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