Maze Runner races to top of film chart
Science fiction film The Maze Runner has debuted at the top of the North American box-office with $32.5m (£19.9m).
The young adult fiction adaptation beat two other debuts into second and third spot - Liam Neeson's A Walk Among the Tombstones took $13.1m (£8.01m) at two.
Comedy drama This Is Where I Leave You entered at number three with $11.9m (£7.3m).
The Maze Runner had a relatively low budget of $34m (£20.8m).
Based on the book by James Dashner, it tells the story of a group of teenage boys mysteriously locked inside a giant maze.
"Our little $34 million-budgeted film is pretty darn strong," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox.
"No-one had launched a young adult title in September. We took a risk, but it paid off."
Fox also had success recently with another young adult film, The Fault in Our Stars, which took $125m (£76.4m) and only cost $12m (£7.3m) to make.
"It shows the pitch-perfect strategic planning of Fox," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.
"Teenagers are probably the most fickle creatures on the planet to figure out. So marketing to this particular group is tricky and there have been a lot of casualties in this young adult war."
A Maze Runner sequel entitled The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is set to open in September next year.
Last week's number one, The Good Deed, starring Idris Elba, dropped to number four.
|Top five films in US and Canada|
|1. The Maze Runner - $32.5m (£19.9m)|
|2. A Walk Among the Tombstones - $13.1m (£8.01m)|
|3. This Is Where I Leave You - $11.9m (£7.3m)|
|4. No Good Deed - $10.2m (£6.2m)|
|5. Dolphin Tale 2 - $9m (£5.5m)|