Forget Liam Neeson’s stranglehold on the weekend box office. The Maze Runner claimed the top spot this weekend, generating $32 million via The Hollywood Reporter. The new film centered around teens trapped in a world they struggle to escape from grossed more than twice as much as Neeson’s A Walk Among The Tombstones ($13.1 million) and also outran This Is Where I Leave You, which caught third place with $11.9 million.
The cast of unknown young actors carried the thriller to a great opening weekend, and the weekend was a 25 percent increase from the same time a year ago. Fox has already announced a sequel for 2018 and the film only cost $34 million to make. The Maze Runner has grossed over 81 million worldwide and made up its budget here in domestic theaters. That bodes very well for the coming weeks. A $100 million gross here in the states may not be realistic but somewhere in the $80-$85 million range is and coupled with the overseas profits, makes the movie a legit hit.
This next weekend will see Denzel Washington in The Equalizer test the strength of the teen box office smash. It will be interesting to see if the veteran power of Washington reuniting with his Training Day director can help shift the box office around. Only time will tell but I like Denzel’s chances. Then again, I said the same thing about Liam Neeson last week.