Runner' speeds past Neeson's 'Tombstones' at box office
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[September 22, 2014]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -
Dystopian young adult movie "The Maze Runner" won the
weekend box office race in the United States and Canada,
collecting $32.5 million in ticket sales to outpace the
Liam Neeson action flick, "A Walk Among the Tombstones."
Neeson's film earned $13.1 million from Friday through Sunday
and finished in second place, according to estimates from
tracking firm Rentrak. Comedy "This is Where I Leave You" landed
in the No. 3 slot with $11.9 million at domestic theaters.
"Maze Runner" fell slightly short projections for a start of $34
million, the forecast of Box Office Mojo.
The movie stars MTV "Teen Wolf" heartthrob Dylan O'Brien as one
of a group of boys living in an isolated paradise where they are
trapped by a giant, moving concrete maze. The movie, based on
the first novel in a series written by James Dashner, is an
attempt to capture the young adult audience that has propelled
blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight."
"Maze Runner" opened overseas on Sept. 11, and global sales
through Sunday totaled $81.5 million, distributor 20th Century
Fox said. The film cost $30 million to make.
Chris Aronson, 20th Century Fox's president of domestic
distribution, declared the film "a bona fide home run."
"When you give audiences a film that they want and they like,
it's going to do well," said Aronson.
He confirmed that a sequel is in the works. "The Maze Runner:
Scorch Trials" is set to open in September of 2015.
In "Walk Among the Tombstones," Neeson plays a private
investigator hired by a drug kingpin to find out who murdered
his wife. Neeson has earned success as an action star in recent
hits "Non-Stop" and "Taken 2." "Tombstones" cost $28 million to
make, according to Box Office Mojo.
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"This is Where I Leave You," produced for about $20 million,
features Tina Fey and Jason Bateman in the story of four grown
siblings forced to live together for a week after their father dies.
Last weekend's winner, home invasion thriller "No Good Deed," fell
to fourth place, grossing $10.2 million and bringing its total to
$40.1 million. Family film "Dolphin Tale 2" took the No. 5 slot with
$9 million in its second weekend.
"The Maze Runner" was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of 21st
Century Fox. "Walk Among the Tombstones" was distributed in the
United States by Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp and in
Canada by Entertainment One Group. "This is Where I Leave You" and
"Dolphin Tale 2" were released by Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner
Sony Corp's movie studio released "No Good Deed."
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski; Editing by Kevin
Liffey and Marguerita Choy)
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