Box Office: ‘The Maze Runner’ crosses the finish line at no. 1 with $32.5 million

“The Maze Runner” breathed a little life into the box office this weekend with a very good $32.5 million debut.  

Some polling services had the adaptation of James Rashner's 2007 novel opening closer to $40 million, but considering its the first film since “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” at the beginning of August to open over $30 million Hollywood will happily take it. “Runner” grossed substantially more than “The Giver's” $12 million debut last month, but significantly lower than “Divergent's” $54.6 million in March. The film, which is top lined by “Teen Wolf” star Dylan O'Brien, earned an A- Cinemascore grade which means it should have solid word of mouth in the weeks to come.

Disappointing in second place was Universal Pictures' “A Walk Among the Tombstones” with just $13.1 million.  The Scott Frank directed thriller is Liam Neeson's lowest wide release opening since “The Next Three Days” in 2010.  With a reported production budget of $28 million Universal will have to hope for better results overseas.

Another weak debut was Warner Bros.' “This Is Where I Leave You” with just $11.8 million at no. 3.  The Shawn Levy directed adaptation of Jonathan Tropper's novel had star power in Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, but the clumsy title and negative reviews didn't help.  Relatively inexpensive with a reported budget of just $19 million, “Leave You's” relatively weak B+ Cinemascore means positive word of mouth is highly unlikely.

Last weekend's champ, “No Good Deed,” dropped to no. 4 with another $10 million and $40 million in just 10 days. With a reported budget of just $13.2 million, “Deed” is a nice moneymaker for Sony Pictures' genre division Screen Gems.

“Dolphin Tale 2” fell to no. 5 with another $9 million and $27.5 million to date.  At this point, it's highly unlikely the WB and Alcon Entertainment sequel will come anywhere near the original's $72 million cume.

New films opening on Friday include “The Boxtrolls” and “The Equalizer.”

Final weekend estimates are released on Monday.