Weekend Box Office: ‘The Scorch Trials’ Scorched The Competition With A Scorching $30 Million

This weekend marked the opening of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the exciting follow-up to last fall’s The Maze Runner, a film about teens who save the dystopian world, presumably by running through mazes (citation needed). That one opened with $32.5 million in domestic box office on a $34 million budget. The new installment, The Scorch Trials (name self-explanatory) scorched its way to a scorching $30.3 million over the weekend. A decent opening, though this one cost almost twice as much to produce than the first ($61 million), though that’s still less than half as expensive as the last Hunger Games movie ($130 million).

It’s a solid, if unspectacular opening, which presumably will do nothing to affect the production on the last film of the Maze Runner trilogy, “The Death Cure.” I like to imagine that one narrowly beat out the other title they were considering, “Maze Runner 3: I’ll Maze When I’m Dead.”

 63% of [the audience] were under 25 and 53% were female. [USA Today]

…the film played 53% Female, 63% under 25, 50% Caucasian, 19% Hispanic, 18% [African American], 13% Asian/other [Forbes]

Teens gonna teen, as they say.

Now, if you were over 25, the big movie this weekend was Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. That one did okay business, $23 million on a $53 million budget. Good enough for Johnny Depp’s fifteenth-best opening, if you’re keeping score at home.

 …the film played 56% male and 89% over-25 years old. [Forbes]

And with those kinds of demographics, there’s reason to believe it’s a better opening than it may sound.

[Black Mass‘s opening was] similar to other R-rated fall dramas such as “Argo,” “The Departed” and “Captain Phillips.” All of those movies went on to gross more than $100 million, since older adults are less likely than young people to rush out on an opening weekend. [Wall Street Journal]

Even if you don’t love Black Mass (and I was lukewarm), it was still nice to see Johnny Depp look like he was acting again and not just shooting a series of reaction shots.

With 77% positive reviews on aggregate site, Mass is the best-reviewed live-action film Depp has headlined since his Tim Burton pairing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2007 (86%). [USA Today]

What a stat. 77% recommended is Johnny Depp’s best reviewed film in eight years. It’s a testament to how likable Johnny Depp is that he can be in so many bad movies without it fully rubbing off on him.

Elsewhere, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit grossed $11.3 million in its second weekend, giving it a total of $42.3 million on a $5 million budget thus far. Meaning that after a string of high-profile flops, Shyamalan once again has a legit hit on his hands. This for a guy whose name alone was enough to elicit derisive laughter during the trailer for Devil a few years back. Whoever thought “M. Night Shyamalan” + “found footage horror” was a good idea is clearly a lot smarter than I am. What a world.

This weekend brings us Hotel Transylvania 2, The Intern, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, and Sicario expanding. Gird your loins, it’s almost awards season.