“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” sprinted ahead of “Black Mass” to win the Thursday night box office race with $1.7 million over the $1.4 million the Johnny Depp crime drama raked in.
The other opener this weekend is “Everest,” which opened to $325,000 Thursday night in an exclusive run at 481 IMAX theaters locations showcasing the climbing tragedy in 3D and premium-large format 3D. Universal is hoping that the giant screens will showcase the film’s spectacular vistas, and then generate an avalanche of positive word of mouth.
“The Scorch Trials” had a budget of $61 million and is tracking for a $48 million dollar opening weekend and a $127 million cumulative gross. The first film, which had a production budget of only $34 million, grossed $32.5 million its opening weekend and a domestic total of $102.5 million to date.
If the sequel truly gains that much speed, it will break a record for the biggest movie opening in the month of September. The current placeholder is “Hotel Transylvania,” which opened in September of 2012 and made $42.5 million its opening night.
‘The Scorch Trials,” starring Dylan O’Brien, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Ki Hong Lee, Aidan Gillen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Kaya Scodelario, currently has a 47 percent approval rating from critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes, so far.
“Black Mass,” on the other hand, had scored a 77 percent approval rating from the critic aggregator, which isn’t a total surprise, given the impressive talent involved: Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Cory Stoll, Dakota Johnson and Kevin Bacon.
The film about Whitey Bulger and his Winter Hill gang had a budget of $53 million and is tracking for a $21 million opening weekend and $74 million overall. This would be a solid improvement after Depp’s last few film flops. Caper comedy “Mordecai” opened to just $4.2 million earlier this year, and sci-fi thriller “Transcendence” opened at $10.8 million after being crushed by critics.