Box Office Results: The Maze Runner Jogs Past the Competition at the Box Office

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Despite things generally slowing down in September, we had a rare up weekend from last year and much of that was thanks to the success of the adaptation of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner (20th Century Fox), starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Will Poulter, which scored an estimated $32.5 million over the weekend in 3,604 theaters, averaging $9 thousand per location. After making just $1.1 million in Thursday previews, the young adult sci-fi action flick grossed $11.3 million on Friday and another $13.4 million Saturday. It’s estimated to gross under $8 million on Sunday.

It added another $37.6 million internationally after opening early in a few territories last weekend to bring its two-week global total to $81.5 million. While it’s nowhere near the biggest young adult adaptation to date, falling well behind “The Twilight Saga,” “The Hunger Games” and even this year’s earlier Y.A. hit Divergent, it’s already profitable having cost a reported $34 million to produce, so Fox are already in pre-production on the sequel The Scorch Trials, based on James Dashner’s second novel in the series, dating it for the same weekend next year with a release on September 18, 2015.

Taking a distant second with less than half that amount was Liam Neeson’s crime-thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones (Universal), co-starring Dan Stevens, which brought in a mild sum of $13.1 million in 2,712 theaters. That’s considerably lower than many of Neeson’s recent wide releases, although it didn’t offer enough of the same four-quadrant thrillers to take on the other two movies. Audiences probably weren’t too happy that it didn’t live up to the marketing, which made it look like another chapter in the “Taken” series since it wound up with a “B-” CinemaScore, despite relatively strong reviews.

Shawn Levy’s ensemble dramedy This is Where I Leave You (Warner Bros.), starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda and more, opened in third place with an estimated $11.9 million in 2,868 theaters or $4,135 per location. Costing less than $20 million to make, it should be able to make its money back during its theatrical run.

The surprise hit home invasion thriller No Good Deed (Sony/Screen Gems), starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, took a 58% plunge in its second weekend to take fourth place with $10.2 million and a total of $40 million.

Dolphin Tale 2 (Warner Bros.) earned $9 million in its second weekend for fifth place, down 43% from its opening and now sporting an unimpressive domestic gross of $27 million despite the success of its predecessor.

After an astounding run to becoming the #1 movie of the year, Marvel and Walt Disney Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy continued to drop ending up in 6th place with $5.2 million and a domestic total of $313.7 million. This puts it just ahead of Iron Man 2 to become Marvel Studios’ fourth-highest grossing movie domestically and it’s likely to pass Iron Man‘s $318.4 million sometime in the next couple of weeks. (It’s already passed both movies globally with its $633 million take, although it’s still behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World.)

The Damon Wayans Jr.-Jake Johnson comedy Let’s Be Cops (20th Century Fox) continued its strong hold with a seventh place showing of $2.7 million, down just 39% from last weekend with an impressive $77 million gross since opening in August.

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, starring Megan Fox, added another $2.7 million to bring its domestic box office total to $185 million.

Despite adding 383 theaters on Friday, the crime drama The Drop, starring Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace, did just that, down 50% from its opening weekend with $2 million to take ninth place. It has grossed $7.7 million so far.

The Top 10 earned an estimated $91 million, which was up over $20 million from the same weekend last year when the Jake Gyllenhaal-Hugh Jackman thriller Prisoners won the weekend with $20 million.

Kevin Smith’s horror-comedy Tusk (A24), starring Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment, opened in 602 theaters where it brought in an estimated $890 thousand, averaging less than $1,500 per location.

Dan Stevens (him again!) also starred in the thriller The Guest (Picturehouse), which took in $82 thousand in 19 theaters or $4,321 per site, while Terry Gilliam’s new movie The Zero Theorem, starring two-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, did about the same amount in 63 theaters for a $1,302 average.

Simon Pegg’s globe-trotting comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness (Relativity) made $46 thousand in four theaters, averaging $11.5 thousand per site, while Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver (him again) starred in Tracks (The Weinstein Company), which did less than half that amount, $21.6 thousand, in the same number of theaters.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.