Box Office: 'The Maze Runner' outwits Liam Neeson for no. 1 Friday
"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. That would make it star Liam Neeson's lowest wide release opening since "The Next Three Days" in 2010.
Another weak debut was Warner Bros.' "This Is Where I Leave You" with just $3.9 million at no. 3. The Shawn Levy directed adaptation of Jonathan Tropper's novel had star power in Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, but the clumsy title and negative reviews didn't help. Relatively inexpensive with a reported budget of just $19 million, "Leave You" will aim for $12-14 million for the there day frame.
Last weekend's champ, "No Good Deed," dropped to no. 4 with another $2.9 million and $32.8 million in just 10 days. With a reported production budget of just $13.2 million, "Deed" is a nice moneymaker for Sony Pictures' genre division Screen Gems.
"Dolphin Tale 2" fell to no. 5 with another $2 million and $20.2 million to date. At this point, it's highly unlikely the WB and Alcon Entertainment sequel will come anywhere near the original's $72 million cume.
Look for final weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.