Entertainment & Arts

Maze Runner races to top of film chart

The Maze Runner Image copyright AP
Image caption Teen Wolf star Dylan O'Brien plays Thomas in The Maze Runner

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)

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