AceShowbiz - Three new entries managed to take the top 3 spots on the North American box office this weekend. Coming at number one is young adult film "The Maze Runner" which gathered a satisfying $32.5 million in its first three days of hitting theaters.
"Maze Runner", based on the first book of James Dashner's series, had an A- CinemaScore and was well-received by youngsters under the age of 25. "It was a perfect storm," said 20th Century Fox's distribution chief Chris Aronson. "We went after teenagers hard and did everything to eventize this film in a play period never tested before. We accomplished the task."
Fueled by the movie's strong opening day, Fox set the date of its sequel "The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials" to September 18, 2015. "The YA audience is so fickle. You have to cross your fingers and hope the first installment does well. And it did, the gamble paid off," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior Rentrak analyst. "So it's money in the bank and in the future."
%cLiam Neeson%'s R-Rated action "A Walk Among the Tombstones" came in second with nearly half of "Maze Runner" income. At approximately $13.1 million, the B+ film is a step back for the bankable actor whose last movie "Non-Stop" opened to $29 million in February. "We wish the numbers were stronger but, having said that, we'll see where it goes in the coming weeks," said Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco.
"This Is Where I Leave You" took the third spot with an estimated $11.9 million. The Shawn Levy-directed adult dramedy features %cJason Bateman%, %cTina Fey% and %cJane Fonda% as a dysfunctional family. "The opening is actually solid," said Phil Contrino, analyst for BoxOffice.com. "The movie will hold up for weeks to come. There's room for a comedy that adults can see at the box office right now."
Last week's champion "No Good Deed" occupied the fourth slot this weekend with an estimated $10.2 million, followed by "Dolphin Tale 2" with approximately $9 million. Meanwhile, the other new entry this week, "Tusk", failed to generate big money. Directed by Kevin Smith, the horror film starring %cJustin Long% entered the 14th place with around $886,000. Distributor A24 kept the spirit alive, saying it was "the best opening ever in the man-being-turned-into-a-walrus genre."