×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Maze Runner 2’ Outracing Johnny Depp’s ‘Black Mass’

The domestic box office roars back to life this weekend as two highly anticipated films, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” and “Black Mass,” launch in U.S. theaters.

Both films are tracking well. Fox’s “Maze Runner” sequel will likely end up in first place, pulling in approximately $35 million across 3,790 locations, while Warner Bros.’ “Black Mass” is eyeing a debut of $22 million from roughly 3,188 venues.

That’s a strong start. If the “Maze Runner” follow-up hits those figures (and some outside analysts think it could climb higher), it represents an improvement on the first film’s $32.5 million opening. It also puts the film on pace to be profitable. “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails” cost $61 million to produce and opened to $26.7 million overseas last weekend.

It’s also a solid opening for “Black Mass,” which is relying on reviews for Johnny Depp’s transformative work as gangster James “Whitey” Bulger to bring in crowds. The good news is critics think it’s among the actor’s best performances, with the film currently enjoying an 87% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It should snap Depp’s cold streak at the box office — the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star is reeling from a long list of flops such as “Mortdecai,” “Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger” that have endangered his A-list status. “Black Mass” cost $53 million to make.

Box office watchers think the competitive weekend is a good augur for the state of the exhibition business. The likely success of “Black Mass” and the second “Maze Runner” comes on the heels of strong debuts last week for “The Perfect Guy” and “The Visit.”

“We’re looking at September being pretty strong and certainly bigger than last year,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

There are also a number of notable films opening in limited release that could do respectable business, pushing overall ticket sales higher. Universal will bow “Everest” in an exclusive Imax run across 365 domestic sites. The hope is that the limited engagement will raise awareness for the $55 million adventure film, allowing word-of-mouth to build organically, so the studio isn’t overly reliant on scoring a massive opening weekend if it wants to make money. Sony is trying a similar approach with “The Walk,” a 3D look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s high wire constitutional between the Twin Towers. Look for “Everest” to pull in roughly $5 million before going wide next weekend.

Then there’s “Captive,” a thriller that combines a hostage situation with Rick Warren books, and stars David Oyelowo and Kate Mara. Filmed for $2 million, a relative pittance in studio terms, the film will play in approximately 800 locations, where it is expected to make $2 million to $3 million. The goal is to bring out the faith-based crowd that made “War Room” a surprise hit.

“Sicario,” a critically acclaimed look at the drug trade, will roll out across six locations in New York and Los Angeles, before having a limited expansion in top markets the following weekend, followed by a wide release opening on October 2. Its debut, coupled with that of “Black Mass,” clear signals that the movie business is moving out of popcorn season and gearing up for the Oscar race.

More Film

  • With PGA win, 'Green Book' is

    Oscars: With PGA Victory, 'Green Book' Becomes Best Picture Frontrunner

    Save for a pair of recent back-to-back discrepancies in “The Big Short” and “La La Land,” the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures has been a fairly reliable barometer for the annual Oscar season outcome. At least, ever since both the PGA and film Academy expanded their top categories, sharing the [...]

  • Peter Farrelly30th Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    PGA Awards: 'Green Book' Wins Top Feature Film Award

    “Green Book” has won the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award as the top feature film of 2018. The 1960s drama-comedy topped “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite,”  “A Quiet Place,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice. “When you make ‘Dumb and Dumber’ you never expect to get an award,” [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Andy Gruenberg, Veteran Film Executive, Dies at 68

    Veteran film executive Andy Gruenberg, who most recently oversaw theatrical distribution at Netflix, died suddenly on Friday. He was 68. Gruenberg worked on classic films like “Ghostbusters,” “Karate Kid” and “Silverado” while at Columbia Pictures in the 80s and 90s. He then moved to MGM where he served as exec VP of distribution. There he [...]

  • Fyre Festival Caterer Receives Thousands in

    Unpaid Fyre Festival Caterer Raises Thousands in Donations on GoFundMe

    As two Fyre Festival documentaries hit the airwaves, a couple who say their credit was ruined due to the Fyre Festival’s lack of payment for their services have raised $54,381 at time of publication on GoFundMe. Elvis and Maryann Rolle wrote on their page that they catered “no less than 1000 meals per day” in [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Author Tony Mendez arrives at the

    Tony Mendez, Former CIA Officer Depicted in 'Argo,' Dies at 78

    Tony Mendez, the former CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran and who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Academy Award winning film “Argo,” has died. He was 78. Mendez’s book agent, Christy Fletcher, announced the news on Twitter Saturday morning. “Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) [...]

  • Glass Movie

    'Glass' to Rank in Top 3 MLK Debuts With $48 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is on its way to a solid debut with an estimated $48 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. A sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2017’s “Split,” the Universal superhero thriller should bring in around $41 million from 3,841 domestic locations over the Friday through Sunday period. The estimates are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content