8th UPDATE, Monday, 2:04 PM: Fox’s Maze Runner ended the weekend with a total of $30.3M, down about 7% from the first installment which debuted last year at this time with $32.5M. Black Mass had a smaller final take this morning of $22.6M (the studio estimated $23.3M yesterday) which is still a solid number for Warner Bros. We expect this R-rated film to have a decent multiple.

Everest, however, was the weekend’s winner. In moderate release on IMAX and PLF formats, this audience-pleaser from Universal, Working Title, Walden Media and Cross Creek chalked up the biggest September ever for IMAX here and abroad. It also scored the highest per screen in the Top 20 for a strong start before it opens wide next weekend. It climbed to $7.2M before ending its weekend. Paramount’s faith-based picture Captive grossed only $1.39M and got knocked out of the Top Ten by Grandma (in its fifth week of release). Ouch! Year-to-date, box office is still up 6.1%.

NEXT WEEKEND: Alongside the wide release of Everest (which will keep IMAX, but also go 2-D) and the holdovers Maze Runner and Black Mass, the industry is expecting an upturn weekend at the box office. Audiences will have a lot more to choose from — a broad comedy, an animated family film (in 3-D) and an R-rated horror film. First up, will be Warner Bros.’ The Intern starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway which is expected to put some caffeine into the box office as it has a wide demo appeal. Next will be Sony’s Hotel Translyvania 2 which will give kids something to sink their teeth into and then finally, Eli Roth’s horror film Green Inferno from Open Road which should garner some front-loaded Friday night fire. Here’s the Top 20 chart:

Anita Busch reported Monday finals.

1). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,791 theaters / 3-day cume: $30.3M / Per screen average: $7,997 / Wk 1

2). Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters / 3-day cume: $22.6M / Per screen: $7,100 / Wk 1

3). The Visit (UNI), 3,148 theaters (+79) / 3-day cume:$11.5M (-55%) / Per screen: $3,674 /  Total cume: $42.5M / Wk 2

4). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 2,230 theaters (+9) / 3-day cume: $9.7M (-62%) / Per screen: $4,373 / Total cume: $41.4M / Wk 2

5). Everest (UNI), 545 theaters / 3-day cume: $7.2M / Per screen: $13,251 / Wk 1

6). War Room (SONY), 1,945 theaters (+298) / 3-day cume: $6.2M / Per screen: $3,196 / Total cume: $49M / Wk 4

7). A Walk in the Woods (BGP), 2,158 theaters (+19) / 3-day cume: $2.8M / Per screen: $1,302 / Total cume: $24.8M / Wk 3

8). Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 2,202 theaters (-447) / 3-day cume: $2.2M / Per screen: $1,005 / Total cume: $191.6M / Wk 8

9). Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 1,938 theaters (-874) / 3-day cume: $2M / Total cume: $158.8M / Wk 6

10). Grandma (SPC), 1,061 theaters (+931) / 3-day cume: $1.5M / Per screen: $1,470 / Total cume: 3.69M / Wk 5

11). Captive (PAR), 806 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.39M / Per screen: $1,729 / Wk 1

12). Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (LGF), 606 theaters (-10) / 3-day cume: $1M / Per screen: $1,769 / Total cume: $8.2M / Wk 3

13). 90 Minutes in Heaven (IDP/SGF), 899 theaters (+22) / 3-day cume: $1M (-51%) / Per screen: $1,119 / Total cume: $3.7M / Wk 2

14). No Escape (TWC), 2,054 theaters (-968) / 3-day cume: $1M / Per screen: $488 / Total cume: $26.2M / Wk 4

15). Minions (UNI), 1,134 theaters (-451) / 3-day cume: $986K / Per screen: $870 / Total cume: $332.8M / Wk 11

16). Inside Out (DIS), 1,200 theaters (-802) / 3-day cume: $927K / Per screen: $773 / Total cume: $352.8M / Wk 14

17). Ant-Man (DIS), 977 theaters (-377) / 3-day cume: $922K / Per screen: $945 / Total cume: $177.5M / Wk 10

18). The Man From U.N.C.L.E (WB), 955 theaters (-701) / 3-day cume: $754K / Per screen: $790 / Total cume: $44.5M / Wk 6

19). The Transporter Refueled (EURC), 753 theaters (-416) / 3-day cume: $720K / Per screen: $414 / Total cume: $15.3M

20). Pixels (SONY), 760 theaters (-280) / 3-day cume: $708K / Per screen: $932 / Total cume: $76.2M / Wk 9

7TH UPDATE & 6TH UPDATE, Final Sunday 1oAM after 12:39AM post: For the second weekend in a row, moviegoers delivered another up weekend to the majors at the box office, breaking from their school and fall routines. Scorch Trials, Black Mass and Everest drove the weekend box office to be +6% over the same frame a year ago, and compared to the same weekend in the banner 2013 B.O. year, this FSS surged a whopping +35%.  In addition to Black Mass, award-contending titles such as Sicario, Pawn Sacrifice and even Sony Classics’ wide break of Grandma — which stole 10th place from Paramount’s new entry Captive — dynamited older adults out of their houses and got them into the autumn-moviegoing spirit.

Whether fans love it more or less than the first Maze Runner, 20th Century Fox’s sequel The Scorch Trials saw an estimated 11% 16% spike in its Saturday business over Friday with $12.25M $12.7M at 3,791 theaters. Grosses are coming in lower this morning. That would put the Dylan O’Brien-headlining title at $30.3M $31.2M for FSS — 7% off the first chapter’s $32.5M opening weekend. Last September that movie saw close to a 20% gain on Saturday over Friday with $13.5M. The bigger brag here for 20th Century Fox is the global take on Scorch Trials: It made $43.3M in 66 territories and combined with domestic, Scorch Trials has a global take of $108.3M, and that’s off an estimated $61M production cost. Even though Scorch Trials is slightly lower than the first title, Fox is quite happy with the results; sequels on a whole from Insurgent to Avengers: Age of Ultron to even The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 have been slightly off from their first installments in both openings and cumes, and that just speaks to the greater moviegoing trend currently. And again, the difference between Maze Runner and Scorch Trials is marginal.

Despite its B+ CinemaScore, which was lower than the first chapter’s A-, 53% of the female audience gave Scorch Trials a wet kiss with an 86% total positivity rating. Essentially, the female audience grew over the first one. Last time, Maze Runner received an 82% positive score. 63% were under 25 at Scorch Trials. The sequel overperformed in the west, Rockies, Midwest, and south central U.S. Canada repped 10% of the opening weekend. Strong markets included Dallas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Sacramento, Montreal, San Antonio, Portland, and Vancouver. Scorch Trials held court on 270 PLF screens where it made an estimated $2.75 million, repping  9% of the opening weekend. Cinemark XD charted $825K of that figure in 87 runs.

Entertainment social media monitor RelishMix observed between Friday and Saturday that #MazeRunner and #ScorchTrials have both exploded to a total of 54k Twitter hashtags; two days ago they were at 18K. YouTube views are at 3.8M, having built from a viral ratio pace of 9 to 1. Social activity for Scorch Trials has been through the roof with an SMU of 89M and a Facebook reach of 27.5M, Twitter reach at 9.1M and YouTube views at 53.2M. The film’s Facebook page has been adding 11K likes a day building to a current count of 3.1M. Instagram is at 268K, spurred from chatter at the New York City premiere. Among the film’s top star Twitter handles: O’Brien with 3.8M and actress Kaya Scodelario with 624K.

black mass 2Most of the top five films were up Saturday over Friday, however, Warner Bros.’ Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass stayed flatnot as high as the 15% many were expecting with $8.8M. Still the Scott Cooper-directed gangster film’s opening weekend of $23.36M still bests its high teen projections (and that wasn’t Warner Bros. making that forecast earlier in the week, but a number of the tracking agencies). The big draw here is Johnny Depp and how he loses himself in the role onscreen. The studio is confident that alone will keep adults coming back, bucking the film’s B CinemaScore. Even if Black Mass eases out at $60M (which it may not, look how gritty Boston crime drama The Town went from $23.8M to $92.2M, a near 4X multiple), the word of mouth for Depp’s performance this awards season is at a deafening level. 56% of those watching Depp shoot a guy in the back of the neck were guys. 89% were over 25. They all gave it Bs except for the under 25 set who liked it a bit more at B+. Black Mass definitely marks a rebound for the eclectic movie star after falling on his face with Mortdecai, The Lone Ranger and Transcendence.

Per iSpotTV, Warner Bros. shelled out $10.5M on TV spots for Black Mass since August 6, the bulk of that money concentrated at Comedy Central, CNN, Syfy, FX and MTV. Close to $2M was scattered on spots running during NFL Football. iSpotTV also assessed that 20th Century Fox unloaded an estimated $8.4M on TV ads for Scorch Trials since August 11 with a majority of spots airing on young demo networks like FXX, VH1, Syfy, MTV2 and ABC Family. Even though Sicario is in release at six New York and Los Angeles theaters, Lionsgate has begun marketing the film heavily on such networks as NBC, Pop, FX, Spike and Comedy Central, spending $5.8M since August 23. Lionsgate reported that the drug trafficking thriller made $390K with a per screen of $65K. That is actually the highest grossing opening theater average of the year after A24’s Ex Machina posted $59,316 and the second highest for a Lionsgate release after Precious’ $104K. Next weekend Sicario expands to about 50 theaters before going wide on October 2.

perfect guy 2In third, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit from Uni/Blumhouse is on track for a second weekend of $11.3M per Universal at 3,148 and a 10-day cume of $42.3M after seeing a 49% surge over Friday with $5.35M. Sony/Screen Gems’ The Perfect Guy is looking at a second weekend drop of 63% per industry estimates which is close to what the label’s previous African American thriller, No Good Deed, did a year ago. Perfect Guy looks to collect $9.655M at 2,230 with a 10-day cume of $41.4M. That total is 4% ahead of No Good Deed and that film finaled at $52.5M.

In fifth is Universal/Working Title/Walden Media/Cross Creek’s Everest which is reporting $7.6M. On 545 Imax and PLF locations, that translates to a per screen of $13,897. What a brassy way to build buzz for a film. Originally Uni was going to take this film wide this everest 2weekend; they already had Imax booked. However, they devised a large format rollout since they realized they had a film that spoke to the spectacle of Imax and PLF (Sony is executing a similar large format platform for The Walk on October 2 before going wide in its second sesh). Uni polled the film with CinemaScore and earned a huge A. While the ‘See it in Imax’ was part of the marketing, the notion is that when Everest goes wide next weekend, people will still come to watch it in 2D: A majority of those polled said they came out for its true story elements. Everest made $3M on Saturday, up 31% from Friday. Imax’s share of Everest on 366 screens generated its best September ever with $6M, outstripping last fall’s The Equalizer‘s $3.1M. Of Everest’s theater count, 177 PLF screens hammered out $1.7 million with Cinemark XD hubs grossing an estimated $325K from 27 XD runs. Adults over 35 made the voyage to Everest at 55%. Guys dominated at 54%.

Paramount’s faith-based thriller Captive, which the studio acquired back in March, posted $453K at 806 venues on Saturday, down 30%. Current opening is pegged at $1.4M. I understand it’s a different type of faith-based movie, one that obviously folds in a lot of thrills. That crowd is still being stoked by Sony/Affirm’s War Room which made $6.3M at 1,945 sites for a four-weekend cume of $49.16M.

Bleecker Street is reporting an opening weekend for Pawn Sacrifice of $206,879 at 33 theaters. That’s a per theater of $6,269 with a five-day cume $222,812. Deadline’s Brian Brooks will be weighing in later this morning.

The top 10 films per studio-reported as compiled by Amanda N’Duka:

1). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,791 theaters / $11M Fri. */  $12.25M Sat. (+11%) / $7.05M Sun. (-42%) / 3-day cume: $30.3M /Wk 1
*includes $1.7M Thursday previews

2). Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters  / $8.8M Fri.** /  $8.8M Sat. (0%) / $5.7M Sun. (-%) /3-day cume: $23.4M /Wk 1

* Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters / 3-day cume: $23M /Wk 1
**includes $1.4M Thursday previews

3). The Visit (UNI), 3,148 theaters (+79)/ $3.6M Fri. /$5.4M Sat. (+49%) / $2.4M Sun. (-55%) / 3-day cume:$11.3M (-55%) / Total cume: $42.3M / Wk 2

* The Visit (UNI), 3,148 theaters (+79)/ 3-day cume: $11.6M (-54%) / Total cume: $42.65M / Wk 2

4). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 2,230 theaters (+9) / $3M Fri./ $4.5M Sat. (+49%) / $2.1M Sun. (-53%) / 3-day cume:$9.7M (-63%)/ Total cume: $41.4M /Wk 2

5). Everest (UNI), 545 theaters  / $2.3M Fri.+ /$3M Sat. (+31%) / $2.3M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $7.6M /Wk 1

Everest (UNI), 545 theaters  / 3-day cume: $7.4M /Wk 1
+includes $325K Thursday previews

6). War Room (SONY), 1,945 theaters (+298) / $1.8M Fri. /$2.5M Sat. (+37%) / $2M Sun. (-22%) / 3-day cume:$6.3M (-18%)/ Total cume: $49.16M/ Wk 4

7). A Walk in the Woods (BGP), 2,158 theaters (+19) / $880K Fri. / $1.2M Sat. (+39%) / $634K Sun. (-48%) /3-day cume: $2.7M (-42%) / Total cume: $24.8M / Wk 3

8). Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 2,202 theaters (-447) / $634K Fri. /$1.06M Sat. (+66%) / $561K Sun. (-47%) / 3-day cume: $2.25M (-39%)/ Total cume: $191.7M / Wk 8

9). Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 1,938 theaters (-874) / $581K Fri./ $891K Sat. (+53%) / $495K Sun. (-44%) / 3-day cume: $2M (-50%) / Total cume: $158.9M / Wk 6

10). Grandma (SPC), 1,061 theaters (+931)/ $410K Fri. / $654K Sat. (+59%) / $531K Sun. (-19%)  /3-day cume: $1.5M (+137%) /Total cume: 3.8M /Wk 5

11). Captive (PAR), 806 theaters / $645K Fri. /$453K Sat. (-30%) / $302K Sun. (-33%) / 3-day cume: $1.4M /Wk 1


Sicario (LGF), 6 theaters / $134K Fri. / $146K Sat. (+9%) / $110K Sun. (-25%) /Per screen: $65K /3-day cume:$390K /Wk 1

Pawn Sacrifice (BST), 33 theaters / $55K Fri. /$88K Sat. (+61%) / $64K Sun. (-27%) /3-day cume: $207K /Total cume: 223K /Wk 1

Cooties (LGPR), 26 theaters / $14K Fri. / $12K Sat. (-5%) / $7K Sun. (-45%)  /3-day cume: $34K / Wk 1

5TH UPDATE at 10:20AM after 4TH UPDATE, Saturday 2 AM: A popular YA franchise sequel and a critically acclaimed mobster scorch trials 2film are giving the September box office a power boost this weekend. However, business eased toward the end of Friday for both 20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Warner Bros.’ Black Mass, and this morning isn’t showing any drastic changes at the till versus what we saw last night. Per CinemaScore, moviegoers left theaters with a blasé attitude and that is what has dampened grosses, particularly for Scorch Trials which earned a B+ vs. the first installment’s A-.  Scorch Trials is coming in slightly under Maze Runner with an estimated $30M versus $32.5M — a similar situation we saw in the spring with another YA sequel, Insurgent when it charted lower than its first chapter Divergent, $52.3M to $54.6M. Fans of any popular book series are always the most precious about it, especially when it comes to its film adaptation (remember, Fifty Shades of Grey got a C+). Scorch Trials’ Friday clocked in at $10.9M per industry estimates ($11M per Fox), which is a tad lower than Maze Runner‘s $11.3M.

Black Mass, starring a sublime Johnny Depp as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, scored a B, which is the same grade earned by the actor’s previous gangster pic Public Enemies (FSS of $25.3M, final cume of $97.1M). That so-so score may not even slow business as Black Mass charged into the weekend already outstripping its teen expectations; it is currently looking at a $24.8M weekend. Black Mass over-indexed in its Boston hometown, Philadelphia, D.C. and out here in California. There’s a notion that leg-wise, Black Mass can beat that B score, just like Gone Girl did last fall ($37.5M opening and $167.8M). Both films drew a heavily over-25 crowd, Gone Girl at 75% and Black Mass at 89% and adults are known to come out over time (this is true, evident in how awards season contenders sleep their way to higher grosses). Not to mention older adults read reviews, and Black Mass has a 76% Rotten Tomatoes score. One insider countered that Black Mass‘ highest grossing markets in the Northeast and Southeast weren’t polled. Currently, industry estimates expect Scorch Trials and Black Mass to post Saturday results that are 15% higher than Friday.

Everest 2Meanwhile, quietly sitting in sixth fifth and siphoning support away from the top two films is Universal’s Everest, its estimated near $7M weekend boosted by all that Imax 3D and PLF ticket upcharge money. Warner Bros. demonstrated earlier this year that large format venues weren’t just fanboy fare, but adult stuff too with Focus and American Sniper. Word is that out of all the entries this weekend, audiences are going gangbusters for Everest.

sicarioParamount’s faith-based thriller Captive is at the bottom of the heap in 10th place, with an estimated $1.9M at 806 theaters; its biggest B.O. demon being Sony/Affirm’s War Room, which is barreling toward a cume just $600K shy of $50M by Sunday in its fourth sesh. Among other frosh award contending fare, Lionsgate’s drug-trafficking thriller Sicario, which started its hot WOM at Cannes and continued to crank it up through TIFF, is beating Bleecker Street’s Pawn Sacrifice on fewer screens. Sicario looks to make an estimated $319K $381K six New York and Los Angeles locations while Pawn Sacrifice is set to gross $177K at 33 venues. Bleecker Street acquired the chess film at TIFF 2014 in a low-seven figure deal. Meanwhile, among last weekend’s holdovers, Uni/Blumhouse’s The Visit looks to own third with an estimated $10.96M versus The Perfect Guy’s $9.89M which is settling for fourth.  Further underscoring distribs grab at smart adult crowds, Sony Classics broke its Lily Tomlin comedy Grandma past 1,000 engagements. By Sunday, audiences are expected to stuff $1.45M in Grandma‘s purse with an estimated five week cume of $3.6M.

Deadline hears that the demos for Scorch Trials are similar to the first film, with those under 25 in the 60% range and a fairly even male-female split (which is an anomaly as most YA fare like Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent skew heavily toward females). Scorch Trials should still come out okay, but the slide to a B+ indicates that core fans weren’t as content with the sequel as they were with the first film which earned an A-. Hence, the legs on Scorch Trials could be shorter than Maze Runner, with a projected multiple of 2.7x versus the first one’s 3.15x ($102.4M). Insiders report that theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada are over-indexing with the exception of the northeast, due to the resonance of Black Mass, and the southeast. Harping on the slightly lower opening is a matter of splitting hairs, but it doesn’t appear the audience is growing here. This just creates an uphill job for 20th Century Fox when it comes to launching 2017’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

black massWhile Public Enemies legged out to a near $100M cume, its B is a different one from Black Mass, withI hear, a sizeable amount over 50 and very few under 18ers (the film is R-rated). 42% were under 25 for Public Enemies vs. 11% for Black Mass. This discrepancy makes sense given the seasons: Public Enemies launched over the July 4th weekend in 2009 when more young people were available.  In sum, you want to spread your demos evenly around to guarantee playability. Close to 60% 55% of the crowd yesterday bought tickets to Black Mass to watch Depp disappear into the role of Bulger on screen while 41% chose the film for its subject matter.

To ensure that the millennials would definitely show up this weekend to Scorch Trials, 20th Century Fox executed a rather brilliant digital campaign. The studio partnered with Quiznos to promote the Dylan O’Brien film in restaurants and online and social with a sweepstakes overlay. However, the sandwich chain went for the jugular: They created a satirical video The Burn Trials that mashed up Maze Runner elements with the Burning Man festival experience. The first two and half minutes of the video played as a mockumentary, jabbing at the psychedelic arts festival.  Not only did Burn Trials go viral in a big way drawing 2M views and getting picked up by close to 60 premium media outlets and 30 media Twitter handles (with 100K+ followers), but Burning Man weighed legal action against Quiznos because the chain never obtained clearance to use the Burning Man brand in the video. Take a look at Burn Trials:

Maze Runner Scorch Trials fan posterOther digital aspects that moved the needle for Scorch Trials included a fresh batch of Glader skins for Minecraft players. There was a #GreenieScreening, in partnership with HBO and iTunes, where fans could watch the first film simultaneously and tweet along with O’Brien and fellow Maze Runner stars Giancarlo Esposito, Dexter Darden, Alex Flores and Wes Ball.  YouTube creators Wassabi Productions, Alexa Losey, and Meghan Reinks produced custom content featuring Scorch Trials talent. There was a collaboration with Poster Posse, which commissioned five global artists who created alternate posters inspired by the sequel which fans could share and order prints.  There was also a partnership with the Kik messenger app to create a first of its kind Chatbot that allowed users to talk to the organization in the film (WCKD) and receive animated GIFs as responses to user inputs. The hashtag #ScorchTrials took over the @MTV Twitter, Just Jared Instagram, Buzzfeed, Snapchat and Yahoo! Live Periscope accounts for the duration of the New York City premiere.

Industry estimates calculated by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka, updated as of 10:06AM Saturday:

1). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,791 theaters / $10.9M Fri.* / 3-day cume: $30.3M /Wk 1
*includes $1.7M Thursday previews

2). Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters  / $8.78M Fri. **/ 3-day cume: $24.8M/Wk 1
**includes $1.4M Thursday previews

3). The Visit (UNI), 3,148 theaters (+79)/ $3.6M Fri. (-61%)/ 3-day cume: $10.96M (-57%) / Total cume: $41.96M / Wk 2

4). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 2,230 theaters (+9) / $3M Fri. (-70%)/ 3-day cume: $9.89M (-62%)/ Total cume: $41.6M /Wk 2

5). Everest (UNI), 545 theaters  / $2.3M Fri.+ / 3-day cume: $6.96M /Wk
+includes $325K Thursday previews

6). War Room (SONY), 1,945 theaters (+298) / $1.83M Fri. (-18%)/ 3-day cume: $6.57M (-15%)/ Total cume: $49.4M/ Wk 4

7). A Walk in the Woods (BGP), 2,158 theaters (+19) / $874K Fri. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $2.86M (-40%) / Total cume: $24.9M / Wk 3

8). Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 2,202 theaters (-447) / $633K Fri. (-42%)/ 3-day cume: $2.36M(-42%)/ Total cume: $191.8M / Wk 8

9). Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 1,938 theaters (-874) / $588K Fri. (-51%)/ 3-day cume: $1.93M  (-51%)/ Total cume: $158.8M / Wk 6

10). Captive (PAR), 806 theaters / $646K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.9M /Wk 1


Sicario (LGF), 6 theaters / $133K Fri. / Per screen: $64K /3-day cume: $381K /Wk 1

Pawn Sacrifice (BST), 33 theaters / $55K Fri. /Per screen: $5,364/3-day cume: $177K /Total cume: $186K/Wk 1
Bowed Wednesday

3RD UPDATE, Friday 6PM: 20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is jogging along at a brisk pace, looking at an estimated $12M Friday, which is higher than the first title’s $11.3M, for a weekend that’s in the $31.5M-$33.5M range at 3,791 venues — right in the neighborhood of last year’s $32.5M debut for Maze Runner. In regards to sequels vs. first installments, the scenario is slightly reminiscent of the Insurgent vs. Divergent scenario ($52.3M opening vs. $54.6M) this past spring: Like that YA franchise, Maze Runner has a dedicated, steady flock that continues to come out; but it’s not massive a la Hunger Games (duh). Nothing is going drastically up, and nothing is going drastically down, so don’t complain.  What Maze Runner had that Divergent didn’t is a higher leg-out multiple in regards to their final cumes vs. openings, respectively 3.15x  ($102.4M) vs. 2.76x ($150.9M). According to PostTrak, Scorch Trials drew 53% female and 65% under 25. No surprise there, as you can peg that to matinee idol Dylan O’Brien, who the girls love dearly from MTV’s Teen Wolf. When he walked out for the Maze Runner WonderCon panel in April 2014, the young women screamed so hard, you’d think it was 1965 and Paul McCartney took the stage. Currently Scorch Trials has 4 out of 5 stars on PostTrak. That’s an early read and could go higher as the film’s core demo comes out on Saturday. The first Maze Runner earned an A- CinemaScore and was able to hook guys in with the action, 49% to 51% gals.

Black Mass 2In second, is Johnny Depp’s rebound from the doldrums of Transcendence and Mortdecai: Warner Bros.’ Black Mass, which is looking at an estimated $9M-$10M and a weekend of $26M-$27M at 3,188 theaters. It’s close to autumn and adults are just primed for quality, awards-contending fare and this film does the trick. PostTrak reports 78% over 25 and 61% male. With any serious adult film of this nature, they live and die at the box office by the critics and the Scott Cooper film has nothing to worry about here with a 76% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. CinemaScore has yet to report, but in terms of Depp’s track record with gangster pics, his 1997 title Donnie Brasco got a B+ (final cume $41.9M) while 2009’s Public Enemies earned a B (final cume $97.1M). Interesting comp here: The Departed, another Warner Bros. Boston-set gangster film that was partially inspired by Whitey Bulger (yes, I know commenters, the film was a remake of Hong Kong action film Infernal Affairs, so shush) opened to $26.89M back in October 2006. Can Black Mass beat it this weekend?

Similar to last weekend’s near photo finish between the African American demo thriller The Perfect Guy from Screen Gems and horror thriller The Visit from Universal/Blumhousethe two titles are going to try and freak each other out for third with each drawing about $10M-$11M.

captiveUni/Walden/Cross Creek/Working Title’s Everest fueled by Imax 3D and PLF energy drinks will conquer fifth with about $5M from 545 hubs. Paramount’s faith-based Captive isn’t receiving any halo effect from War Room. It will be lucky to make $2M for the FSS, which is at the lower end of where Paramount was expecting it.  PostTrak observed 63% female and 77% over 25.

2nd UPDATE, Friday 12:58PMAnita Busch Weighs in on Friday Matinees

1st UPDATE, Friday 7:38AM: 20th Century Fox is reporting $1.7M for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials at 2,900 locales last night, a 55% spike over the first installment’s Thursday previews of $1.1M. The gun went off at 8 PM Thursday for Scorch Trials. While we saw an 11% spike in last weekend’s moviegoing over the same frame a year ago with $101.2M, everyone — adults and teens — are expected to go back to the movies this weekend in bulk led by Maze Runner which is looking forward to a mid-$30M weekend, which is in the neighborhood of the first pic which made $32.5M. The under-25 crowd — surprise, surprise – are considered a shoo-in here with tracking showing a first choice of 26% among young guys and 20% among girls. The first Maze Runner earned 64% fresh among critics, this one is getting 48%, however, any sour-note reviews aren’t going to slow this sequel down.

Black MassWarner Bros.’ Johnny Depp Boston gangster pic Black Mass gunned down $1.4M last night. While tracking has pegged the Scott Cooper-directed film about Whitey Bulger in the high teens, it has a great shot of overperforming thanks to great reviews — at 76% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes — coming out of the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals, specifically for Depp getting lost in the role on screen in full-on fearful make-up. Older men at 16% are selecting Black Mass as their first choice this weekend. Black Mass’ Thursday is higher than a slew of last fall’s thrillers: The Equalizer ($1.45M) Gone Girl ($1.2M) and Fury ($1.2M).

EverestUniversal’s Everest, a co-production with Working Title-Walden-Cross Creek, notched $325K at 481 Imax hubs and premium large-format screens which started their ascent at 7 PM. The title, which has had a worldwide film festival launch at Venice and Deauville, isn’t even in wide release this weekend — rather is strictly playing in 546 big-screen venues. Projections are at $6M-$7M. The film recounts the 1996 expedition which resulted in the death of eight climbers. Current Rotten Tomatoes on Everest is 71% fresh.

Also opening in 806 theaters is Paramount’s faith-based title Captive adapted from the book Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story Of The Atlanta Hostage Hero written by Ashley Smith. The film was made for $2M and the studio is hoping to make at least $2M-$3M, though industry projections have it north of $5M.

Pawn SacrificeAn even bigger deal this weekend for distributors, with Black Mass at the head of the pack, is that a plethora of award-contending product is hitting the multiplex, hot off their festival runs: Bleecker Street’s Pawn Sacrifice which has checked an estimated $16K since Wednesday at four New York and Los Angeles locations before it breaks into 11 cities today, as well as Lionsgate’s Sicario which opens in six New York and Los Angeles theaters today