The success of James Dashner adaptation, The Maze Runner, shows that dystopian teen dramas are still popular in the wake of The Hunger Games. The film stars Dylan O’Brien who awakes to find himself trapped in an elaborate maze along with several other boys, as they set out to find a way to escape. The Maze Runner
reportedly grossed $32.5M, during its opening weekend, when it released in the U.S. last month, and it appears set to replicate that success overseas.
In the U.K. The Maze Runner has already bagged just over two million pounds, which saw it climb up the U.K. box office, only being topped by David Fincher’s Gone Girl. The film also saw a reduction in its age rating on this side of the pond, with its 15+ age certificate slashed to a more kid-friendly 12A prior to its release, cutting just under a minute of footage in order to secure the lower age rating. This has been a tactic with a lot of recent film releases, with The Hunger Games experiencing similar cuts to its screen time in the theatrical release, with the uncut version saved for DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
With The Maze Runner sequel set for release next September, these numbers couldn’t be much better for Fox, who’s clearly hoping that it will do for the company what The Hunger Games has done for Lionsgate. Young-adult novel adaptations have been hot property for the last several years, ever since the Jennifer Lawrence-helmed movie hit the big screen. Divergent, also distributed by Lionsgate and released earlier in the year, was clearly aimed at the same demographic who’ve made both The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games a success.
Likewise, movies such as The Fault in our Stars are another sign that young-adult novels are a particular fascination for Hollywood at the moment. A recent interview with literary agents Eddie Gamarra and Lee Stollman in The Guardian reveals that film producers are taking new novel releases more seriously than ever as potential new movie fodder. Not only that, the nature of teen movies means that film’s turnarounds are fast, in order to maintain the casts age – “A unique aspect of YA is that your protagonists grow up quickly.”, Gamarra says.
This would certainly explain the short time-frame between this first Maze Runner movie and the second one. Given the popularity it’s received so far though, it seems people will still be hankering for more.
Joseph is a writer and blogger, mainly covering video games and film.
This film could have made more money if they had cast more females. A male protagonist is fine but my girls and I don’t spend our money on movies that only bother to cast one female. I’m betting other YA women do the same.
I believe the second movie has rather more females
it looks just like Hunger games. people are saying they changed the movie a lot from the book.
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