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article image'The Maze Runner' sprints to an easy win

By Tim O'Brien     Sep 21, 2014 in Entertainment
It didn't take long to see that "The Maze Runner" would easily win the weekend box office race. The only question would be where the numbers would end up.
The good news is that it was either right on or slightly above projections, depending on the day the projection was made. "The Maze Runner" earned a solid $32.5 million and it means another young adult franchise has been born.
The popularity of its star, Dylan O'Brien, is one main reason for the rise of the film. A male-dominated staff took a different turn than "Divergent" and "Hunger Games" on that idea. In the end, they all served the purpose -they scored with their intended audiences.
1. "The Maze Runner" - $32.5 million
2. "A Walk Among the Tombstones" - $13.1 million
3. "This is Where I Leave You" - $11.8 million
But, take a look at the openings of "Divergent" ($54.6 million) and the last "Hunger Games" ($158 million). Looking at it that way has "The Maze Runner" far behind. However, this is September and an opening like it had is decent. The September champ is "Hotel Transylvania" with $45 million.
That is not a typo for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" as it made more in one weekend than many films do in their entire run. It not only scored with its fan base, but other demographics came out. That is the key to huge success, not just fan base success.
."A Walk Among the Tombstones" in second was weak for Liam Neeson's brand of thriller. "This is Where I Leave You" was not going to challenge for the top spot. So, a third place opening is fine.
The box office was also a tale of an easy win for "The Maze Runner" and then a distance runner up. Not only that, the films that made the headlines last weekend, fell off the radar. "No Good Deed" and "Dolphin Tale 2" dipped with weak numbers.
In other words, last week's winner, "No Good Deed," could not muster enough momentum to hover around second or third. "No Good Deed" grabbed $10.2 million and "Dolphin Tale 2" took in $9 million in its second weekend.
Often looked at are those smaller releases and their per screen averages. Not all work out well. "Tusk" by Kevin Smith couldn't reach $1 million on 602 screens.
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