Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Maze Runner beyond expectations

Date:

Share post:

NEW YORK (AP) – The young-adult (YA) adaptation The Maze Runner raced to the top of the box-office with US$32.5 million, giving a budding franchise a quick start out of the gate.

The 20th Century Fox release easily outpaced the $13.1 million debut of Liam Neeson’s hardboiled private eye thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones and the $11.9 million opening for the ensemble-cast dramedy This Is Where I Leave You, according to studio estimates yesterday.

The strong opening for The Maze Runner, adapted from James Dashner’s science-fiction YA novel, is a big success for a movie that cost $34 million to make and was released in the normally quiet month of September.

Fox aimed to make the film – about a group of teenage boys mysteriously locked inside a giant maze – the first post-summer event movie, putting it on IMAX and large-format screens.

“Our little $34 million-budgeted film is pretty darn strong,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox. “No one had launched a YA title in September. We took a risk, but it paid off.”

Aronson said attracting young moviegoers has been “the Achilles heel” of Hollywood in recent years. But the studio has recently found success with relatively low-budget YA releases, like The Fault in Our Stars, the Shailene Woodley melodrama that made $125 million earlier this year despite a budget of just $12 million.

“It shows the pitch-perfect strategic planning of Fox,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. “Teenagers are probably the most fickle creatures on the planet to figure out. So marketing to this particular group is tricky, and there have been a lot of casualties in this YA war.”

But The Maze Runner, which drew a 51 per cent female audience despite an almost all-male cast, is now a promising franchise. Its opening was further boosted by $37.6 million internationally. Aronson announced yesterday that the planned sequel, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, will bow September 18 next year.

While Neeson’s box-office strength has been hard to beat in recent years, Universal’s darker, R-rated A Walk Among the Tombstones came in well below the track record established by his Taken series or, from earlier this year, Non-Stop. Neeson stars as a justice-seeking former NYPD detective.

Warner Bros’ This Is Where I Leave You, about a large suburban family sitting Shiva for the funeral of their patriarch, boasted an A-list ensemble cast including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda.

 

 

Previous article
Next article

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup 2024

Portfolio Company, ridden by Antonio Bishop, gets the edge on Rasheed Hughes aboard Cash Equity, to win the...

Zane does it again

by Nick Maitland It was a season start most drivers only dream of! Barbadian Zane Maloney set an impressive example...

Thorne ‘not backing down’

There will be no backing down by the Leader of the Opposition in his quest for answers and...

Attractions way forward

Attractions, attractions and even more attractions. That’s the focus and direction in which this country’s tourism sector should...