Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” raced past Johnny Depp’s “Black Mass” at the Thursday night box office.

“Maze Runner” started its race with an impressive $1.7 million in Thursday night showings at about 2,900 locations. Meanwhile, Depp’s gangster pic “Black Mass” earned a respectable $1.4 million — similar to the $1.2 million in previews a year ago from “Gone Girl,” which went on to an opening weekend of $37.5 million.

Everest” began its climb at the box office with $325,000 on Thursday previews at 481 Imax 3D and premium-large format 3D theaters.

Fox’s “Maze Runner” sequel, which picks up where the first film left off, posted promising numbers on Thursday night — 55% above the Thursday evening total for last year’s “Maze Runner.”

“Scorch Trials” has been forecast to end up in first place in the range of $35 million across 3,791 locations, while Warner Bros.’ “Black Mass” is eyeing a $22 million debut at 3,188 venues.

“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” looks likely to match the first film’s $32.5 million U.S. opening on its way to $102 million domestically. The sequel cost $61 million to produce and opened to $26.7 million overseas last weekend.

“Scorch Trials” stars Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario and Patricia Clarkson.

“Black Mass” has received strong reviews for Depp’s transformative work as infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, earning a 76% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “Black Mass,” which cost $53 million to make, also stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dakota Johnson.

Universal’s “Everest” is launching a limited engagement at 546 large-format sites, aimed at raising awareness for the $55 million adventure film by allowing word-of-mouth to build organically. “Everest” should pull in roughly $5 million before going wide next weekend.

“Everest” has a strong ensemble cast with Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley and Emily Watson. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival and most recently screened at Toronto.

The weekend will also see Paramount’s mid-size launch of the thriller “Captive” at 806 sites. The film stars David Oyelowo, Kate Mara, Michael K. Williams, Leonor Varela, Jessica Oyelowo and Mimi Rogers.