MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com

The Weekend Report

Hardly autumnal weekend moviegoing lit up with two national debuts. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials bowed at the top of the charts to an estimated $30.2 million the gangster opus Black Mass arrived with $23.1 million. There was also good news for the platforming Everest peaking at $7.5 million but religious conversion drama Captive failed to inspire with a $1.4 million tally.

Also encouraging was the $205,000 opening of the bygone chess showdown Pawn Sacrifice at 33 locations. But it was the drug odyssey Sicario that proved most potent with a $390,000 gross from a mere six encampments.

Session revenues approached $115 million for an 11% bump from seven days earlier and was 10% improved from 2014. A year back the first episode of the Maze Runner franchise bowed to $32.5 million with second spot to another deb A Walk Among the Tombstones at $12.7 million.

In the niches, Indian imports saw OK results of $271,000 for Hindi Katti Batti and moribund returns of $25,300 for Telugu Courier Boy Kalyan and Tamil Mayuri (Maya) grossing $40,200. South Korean import Veteran generated a solid $323,000 and in Francophone Canada, hockey-themed graphic novel adaptation Paul à Québec was off to a good first face-off of $184,000.

Scorch Trials exceeded tracking expectations of $25 million. The film opened a week earlier in 21 international territories, including Mexico, Australia and the UK to $26.7 million and put a pin into blather about an imploded series. Domestically, the YA tale was right on target with its core crowd with 63% of the audience age 25-years and younger and a slight female tilt of 53%. The dystopian saga expanded its international scope this weekend to 66 territories and added roughly $43 million to its larder.

Black Mass, the lurid history of “Whitey” Bulger and Boston’s Winter Hill Gang also bested pundits. Buttressed by key reviews and Johnny Depp’s appeal the film swung 56% male with 89% crowd that was 25-years and older. The strong debut should bring in younger folk in the coming weeks.

An unusual roll of the dice, Everest went out exclusively to 545 IMAX 3-D engagements. Studio estimators were hoping for a $5 million start to establish a base and easily topped that. Internationally, it opened day-and-day in 36 countries and generated a potent $28 million estimate with about 60% of that tally coming from large format engagements.

Weekend (estimates) September 18 – 20, 2015
Title Distributor Gross (avg) % chng Thtrs Cume
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Fox 30.2 (7,970) NEW 3791 30.2
Black Mass WB 23.1 (7,250) NEW 3188 23.1
The Visit Uni 11.3 (3,600) -55% 3148 42.3
The Perfect Guy Sony 9.7 (4,360) -62% 2230 41.4
Everest Uni 7.5 (13,830) NEW 545 7.5
War Room Sony 6.3 (3,250) -18% 1945 49.2
A Walk in the Woods Broad Green 2.8 (1,290) -42% 2150 24.8
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Par 2.2 (1,010) -46% 2202 191.7
Straight Outta Compton Uni 2.0 (1,010) -50% 1938 158.9
Grandma Sony Classis 1.5 (1,500) 138% 1021 3.7
Captive Par 1.4 (1,760) NEW 806 1.4
90 Minutes to Heaven IDP 1.1 (1,170) -49% 899 3.8
Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos Lionsgate 1.0 (1,680) -50% 606 8.2
No Escape Weinstein Co./VVS 1.0 (490) -65% 2054 26.2
Inside Out BV .95 (790) -38% 1200 352.9
Ant-Man BV .92 (940) -45% 977 177.6
Minions Uni .88 (780) -42% 1134 332.7
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. WB .77 (810) -59% 955 44.6
The Transporter Refueled EuropaCorp .66 (380) -77% 1742 15.2
Pixels Sony .64 (840) -43% 760 76.2
Jurassic World Uni .62 (820) -48% 753 649.8
Learning to Drive Broad Green/SEF .54 (1,590) -24% 339 2.4
The Gift STX/D Films .52 (690) -62% 757 43.4
Trainwreck Uni .43 (800) -53% 539 109.4
Sicario Lionsgate .39 (65,500) NEW 6 0.39
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $107.60
% Change (Last Year) 10%
% Change (Last Week) 11%
Also debuting/expanding
Veteran CJ .32 (7,020) 46 0.32
Katti Batti UTV .27 (2,130) 127 0.27
Pawn Sacrifice Bleecker Street .20 (6,200) 33 0.2
Paul à Québec Remstar .18 (3,760) 49 0.18
Meet the Patels Alchemy .15 (4,320) 109% 34 0.24
Sleeping with Other People IFC .10 (3,640) 15% 27 0.21
Maya/Mayuri Prime Media 40,200 (1,440) 28 0.04
The New Girlfriend Cohen Media 39,700 (3,050) 13 0.04
Office China Lion 35,600 (2,370) 15 0.03
Cooties Lionsgate 34,100 (1,260) 27 0.03
East Side Sushi Blue Sun 30,800 (2,570) 12 0.03
Courier Boy Kalyan Praneth 25,300 (500) 51 0.03
Racing Extinction Abramorama 11,900 (2,580) 5 0.01
Some Kind of Hate Image Ent. 3,700 (530) 7 0.01
The Man Who Saved the World Film Collaborative 3,500 (3,500) 1 0.01
Peace Officer Gravitas 3,400 (1,700) 2 0.01
Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer Vladar 3,300 (370) 9 0.01
Top Domestic Grossers (January 1 – September 17, 2015) *
Title Distributor Box Office
Jurrasic World Uni 649,224,035
Avengers: Age of Ultron BV 458,651,107
Furious 7 Uni 353,125,507
Inside Out BV 351,919,169
American Sniper * WB 348,797,073
Minions Uni 331,863,705
Cinderella BV 201,151,353
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Par 189,482,210
Pitch Perfect 2 Uni 184,355,965
Home Fox 177,352,879
Ant-Man BV 176,650,846
Fifty Shades of Grey Uni 166,248,790
SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Par 163,553,869
Straight Outta Compton Uni 156,951,260
San Andreas WB 154,866,442
Mad Max: Fury Road WB 153,612,032
Insurgent Lionsgate 130,382,906
Kingsman: The Secret Service Fox 128,261,724
Spy Fox 110,675,157
Trainwreck Uni 108,993,665
* does not include 2014 box office

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4