Maze Runner trilogy crosses the finish line in number 1

2018-01-29 10:04

Los Angeles — Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the highest grossing film of the weekend, but according to studio estimates on Sunday, many moviegoers also chose the first weekend after Oscar nominations to catch up with some awards contenders like The Shape of Water which had its highest grossing frame with $5.7m.

In first place, The Death Cure took in a higher than expected $23.5m. It's the third and final instalment in the Maze Runner series based on James Dashner's dystopian young adult novels and the weakest opening of the three (the first opened to $32.5m and the second to $30.3m). Part of that may be attributable to stalled momentum and a two-and-a-half-year gap between the second and third film. The Death Cure's release was delayed a year by 20th Century Fox after star Dylan O'Brien's on-set injury in early 2016.

It was still enough to push Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle back down to second place for the first time in three weeks. Down only 16 percent, Jumanji added $16.4m, bringing its total to a robust $338.1m.

In third place, the Christian Bale Western Hostiles expanded wide to 2,816 theatres in its sixth weekend and earned $10.2m.

The Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman kept going strong in fourth with $9.5m, down only 11 percent, and now boasting a total of $126.5m.

Many audiences also took advantage of the added theatre counts of many Oscar hopefuls following nominations on Tuesday. Steven Spielberg's Pentagon Papers drama The Post, from 20th Century Fox, placed fifth in its third weekend in wide release with $8.9m.

Guillermo del Toro's fantasy romance The Shape of Water, which had a leading 13 nominations for Fox Searchlight, added 1 001 theatres which put it back in the top 10 in its ninth weekend of release. The film is nominated for best picture, best director, best actress (Sally Hawkins), supporting actress (Octavia Spencer) and supporting actor (Richard Jenkins), among others and has grossed $37.7 million to date.

Fox Searchlight also added theatres for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which scored seven Oscar nominations on Tuesday, and earned $3.6m over the weekend (an 88 percent boost). And Focus Features upped the theatre count for Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread, which both took in $2.9m after getting 6 nominations each.

"The Oscars offer the greatest marketing hook in the history of movies. These are films that would usually be played out," said Dergarabedian.

"For audiences, it's a validation. If anyone is on the fence, a best picture nomination is a pretty good way to push people in the direction of the movie theatre."

The third instalment of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise opens on 9 February and on 16 February the highly anticipated Black Panther roars into theatres.

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