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Weekend Estimates: Maze Runner Boosts Box Office

September 21st, 2014

The Maze Runner poster

The Maze Runner will be the first film to top $30 million at the box office in six weeks, bringing a welcome boost to the industry at the beginning of the Fall season. With $32.5 million projected for the weekend, and overall positive reviews, Fox could have a modest new franchise on its hands. Things look less rosy for the weekend’s other wide releases. A Walk Among the Tombstones will have a disappointing debut around $13 million—the worst result for a wide release starring Liam Neeson since K-19: The Widowmaker back in 2002, or, if one takes inflation into account, the 1998 version of Les Miserables. This is Where I Leave You lands with a projected $11.86 million, and reviews that aren’t good enough to give it much hope of redemption via word of mouth.

This weekend has a huge number of movies debuting in limited release. Going into the weekend, we knew of 24 limited releases, and there are reports floating around for three or four more. This isn’t unusual for mid-September, when specialist distributors feel there’s a little more room for their films to get attention, without competition from the Summer blockbusters, and films with Oscar aspirations can get some early buzz. The widest limited release is Kevin Smith’s Tusk, a film with all the attributes of a cult classic, including, now, a disappointing performance at the box office—it will open with about $890,000 from 602 theaters.

In really limited release, Yellow Day looks as though it will enjoy the best theater average by earning $31,000 in a single venue this weekend. That puts it a shade ahead of 20,000 Days on Earth, the Nick Cave biopic, which is expected to pick up about $27,000 from its single location. Other films with $10,000-plus averages this weekend include Not Cool ($14,500), Pump ($14,059), Hector and the Search for Happiness ($11,500) and Art and Craft (also $11,500). The Skeleton Twins just misses out with $9,133 from 49 locations. Also failing to hit the mark, but with the mitigating circumstance of having already been released on VOD is The Zero Theorem, with $82,000 from 63 venues.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Maze Runner, A Walk Among the Tombstones, This is Where I Leave You, Tusk, The Zero Theorem, The Skeleton Twins, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Pump, 20,000 Days on Earth, Yellow Day, Art and Craft, Not Cool, Liam Neeson, Kevin Smith, Nick Cave