The Scorch Trials Burns Competition, Still Disappoints At Box Office

The Scorch Trials, the second film in the Maze Runner series, looks to have taken first place in its debut weekend at the box office, but its totals are still a disappointment to studio executives, who were hoping for a bigger showing.

Entertainment Weekly reports that The Scorch Trials raked in around $30.3 million over the weekend, beating out other films that had big-name stars. Black Mass, which stars A-list actor Johnny Depp as real life mobster Whitey Bulger, was one of the films burned by The Scorch Trials. Despite a massive media campaign and Depp’s star power, Black Mass brought in just $23.4 million.

Despite winning the weekend box office war, The Scorch Trials failed to live up to expectations for its debut. According to Entertainment Weekly, The Scorch Trials was expected to bring in about $35 million. If the current projections hold true, The Scorch Trials will not even reach the $32.5 million mark set by the first Maze Runner movie.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Fox, the studio behind The Scorch Trials, is still happy with its latest film. Chris Aronson, Fox’s head of distribution, said the film is still poised to be a box office success.

“We’re in great shape,” he said. “Any time you interpret a book to a visual medium, it’s going to be subject to interpretation of filmmakers. I think our filmmakers, led by Wes Ball, did a tremendous job, especially with diverse casting.”

Like the first Maze Runner film, and other young adult adaptations like The Hunger Games and Divergent, The Scorch Trials has attracted a younger demographic to cinemas. In addition, an estimated 53 percent of those who went to see The Scorch Trials were also women.

“Our demos were within a couple of points from the first film,” Aronson said. “I think we have a very loyal and consistent fan base.”

Even though The Scorch Trials, a film about a teenager trying to survive in a scorched-earth apocalypse, fell short of its goal by more than $2 million, it still did better than Everest, a film about a group of climbers trying to survive a blizzard at the top of the world’s tallest mountain.

Everest was released this weekend exclusively on 3D, IMAX, and premium screens, and brought in $7.6 million to take fifth place. The story of the 1996 climbing season stars Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, and Jake Gyllenhaal. It will go into wide release next weekend.

Third place this week went The Visit from director M. Night Shyamalan. The thriller about two teens’ nightmarish visit to their grandparents’ house took in $11.4 million, bringing its domestic total to an estimated $42.3 million.

[Image via 20th Century Fox]