The weekend box office estimates are in and boy (or girl) is it good news for young adult book adaptions.
#1 – The Maze Runner
This unusually male-skewed James Dashner adaption pulled in front of its competition with a $32.5M opening. Shot in Louisiana on the cheap, for around $34M, the movie nearly recouped its entire budget during its first weekend. With a strong international opening as well, it’s no wonder a sequel (The Scorch Trials) has already gotten the green light from Fox. It always brings a smile to my face when a young adult adaption can find monetary success on the big screen. For every Harry Potter, there’s a Beautiful Creatures. And while this is not at the same level as the BIG YA series’ out there, (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games), this is still a solid success.
#2 – A Walk Among the Tombstones
With a title that can leave you winded, the Liam Neeson vehicle, also a book adaption, was a distant second place with $13M. Since Taken, Neeson’s films have been known to open around the $20M range; it’s almost a given. Clearly, this doesn’t add up to a good result in comparison. What separates this from his usual butt-kick flick is the heaviness of the material. There’s no cheering at the violence that goes down in this one, and the darker tone clearly turned some of the 56-year-old’s younger fan base away.
#3 – This is Where I Leave You
While third place is nothing to cry over, it’s a shame this movie wasn’t able to pull in more than $11.9M in its opening weekend. Poor Jason Bateman. Poor Tina Fey. Poor Rose Byrne. Poor… eh, those are the only stars that should be able to pull in an audience by now. This result really isn’t a surprise as the Shawn Levy vehicle is getting middling reviews (hovering around 43% on RT) and doesn’t cast a very wide net with its source material; ‘dead dad, family reunion, and comedy’ is not a six word story I plan on writing any time soon. At least Jane Fonda will always have those exercise tapes to fall back on. Wait, that was HOW many years ago?!
#4 – No Good Deed
In its second weekend, the home invasion thriller had a no good hold (grammatically correct: no; punny: yes) with a 58% fall and a $10.1M weekend. Clearly this film wasn’t going to defy genre norms with a big second weekend retention, but a total over $40M is nothing to be embarrassed about.
#5 – Dolphin Tale 2
A $9M second weekend for a $27M-and-counting total isn’t terrible. But when it pertains to a sequel that now has no chance of coming anywhere close to the original film’s overall total, it’s a downer. Looks like the movie doesn’t have much hope after all. (It’s a joke you’ll get if you’ve seen the movie, which, judging by these numbers, doesn’t seem likely).
#6 – Guardians of the Galaxy; $5.2M weekend
#7 – Let’s Be Cops; $2.7M weekend
#8 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; $2.6M weekend
#9 – The Drop; $2M weekend
#10 – If I Stay; $1.8M
Maze Runner pic: http://images1.mtv.com/movies/photos/m/maze_runner_070213/maze_runner4.jpg