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Weekend Wrap-Up: New Releases Fail to Reach High Heights

September 22nd, 2015

Black Mass

While the two new releases landed in first and second as expected, their box office numbers were not as strong. The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials failed to match The Maze Runner, which is not a good sign for the franchise going forward. Black Mass did well, for a September release. Meanwhile, Everest might be considered the best new release of in the top ten, which is not surprising as it is being released by Universal. Finally there's Captive, the latest victim of the Mendoza Line. Overall, the box office was still strong and rose 10.0% from last week to $112 million. It was also 9.6% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2015 saw its lead expand to 5.8% over 2014 at $7.78 billion to $7.36 billion.

The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials did earn first place, so the studio does have something to brag about. On the other hand, it only pulled in $30.32 million, which is significantly worse than The Maze Runner's opening. Worse still, its reviews are also significantly weaker than the previous film's reviews were. Add in the sequel effect (sequels tend to start better, but fall faster) and this film very likely won't reach the century mark like its predecessor did. On the other hand, internationally, the picture does look better.

Black Mass failed to reach the low end of the range of expectations with just $22.64 million. It does have good reviews, but it has dropped to 76% positive, which is out of the usual range for Awards Season contenders. It might pick up a nomination or two here and there, but not enough to really drive its box office numbers.

The Visit held on a little better than expected with $11.57 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $42.56 million. This is very likely more than the film cost to make and advertise, so the movie only really needs to double that number to break even. If it can merely match its domestic number internationally, it will break even before it reaches the home market. Even if it struggles internationally, it will likely still break even during its initial push into the home market.

The Perfect Guy wasn't as lucky, as it fell 62% to $9.75 million over the weekend for a total of $41.46 million after two. It is also nearly assured of breaking even.

Surprisingly, Everest earned a spot in the top five with $7.22 million in just 545 IMAX screens. Its reviews are only good and not great, so I'm not sure how well it will do when it expands truly wide this weekend. On the other hand... Universal. This studio is having a record-shattering year, so I'm unwilling to dismiss its possibilities.

On the other hand, Captive bombed with just $1.39 million. Granted, it was playing in just 806 theaters, so it wasn't expected to do well enough to reach the top five, but it also wasn't expected to miss the top ten. Its reviews were not great, but they were not as bad as its box office numbers. I think it is clear that faith-based films are a niche market, but this market isn't under-served. The market certainly isn't big enough to have three such films at the same time.

Speaking of faith-based films, 90 Minutes in Heaven was the only sophomore film not to reach the top five. It fell 51% to just $1.01 million over the weekend for a total of $3.75 million after two. It will quickly disappear from theaters.

Weekend Box Office Results

Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Everest, The Visit, Black Mass, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Captive, The Perfect Guy, 90 Minutes in Heaven, The Maze Runner