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September 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

It wasn’t the $35-40 million that some analysts had predicted it would earn, but the estimated $32.5 million that The Maze Runner raced away with at the box office this weekend was well ahead of distributor 20th Century Fox’s reported prediction of a $20-million haul. Many credited the appeal of rising star Dylan O’Brien (of TV’s Teen Wolf) for the strong opening. The movie also received a strong A- CinemaScore after its Friday opening — indicating that word-of-mouth would uplift ticket sales and, in the process, assure a sequel. Nevertheless, The Maze Runner set no box office record for September, something that several pundits had said was a possibility. In fact if final figures confirm today’s (Sunday) estimate, it will “only” be the sixth best September opener (no minor accomplishment, to be sure). But if The Maze Runner sprinted into theaters, Universal’s Liam Neeson starrer A Walk Among the Tombstones limped in. It came in well below analysts’ estimates to wind up with around $13.1 million, while the dramedy This Where I Leave You was left behind with $11.9 million. Rounding out the top five were last weekend’s champ, Sony’s No Good Deed, with $10.2 million and Warner Bros.’ Dolphin Tale 2 with $9.0 million. Meanwhile, in its eighth week in theaters, Guardians of the Galaxy continued its record-shattering run, pulling in another $5.2 million and, with a total domestic gross of $313.7 million, putting it ahead of Iron Man 2 on the list of all-time box-office leaders (at No. 38). The weekend’s results would appear to indicate that there’s still plenty of life left in Guardians and that it is likely to move ahead of several other all-time box-office champs by next weekend.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Rentrak:
1. The Maze Runner, $32.5 million; 2. A Walk Among the Tombstones; 3. This Is Where I Leave You, $11.9 million; 4. No Good Deed, $10.2 million; 5. Dolphin Tale 2, $9 million; 6. Guardians of the Galaxy, $5.2 million; 7. Let’s Be Cops, $2.7 million; 8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, $2.7 million; 9. The Drop, $2.1 million; 10. If I Stay, $1.8 million.