Why 'Maze Runner: Death Cure' Made $22 Million at the Box Office

Teens love dystopian stories.

Film critics might be over young adult dystopias, if Maze Runner’s performance at the box office this weekend is any indication, but young adults themselves are not.

The final film in the threequel “Maze Runner” series opened at 3,787 North American locations this weekend with $22 million in ticket sales, beating out “Jumanji,” which held the top earner slot for the previous three weekends. Its opening has been delayed twice, after its star, Dylan O’Brien nearly died on the set two years ago.

The film was panned by critics as everything from “sexless derring-do in a dull YA dystopia” in The Guardian to an “assault of fire and fury guaranteed to leave your senses frayed and your brain numb” in [Rolling Stone]https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/peter-travers-maze-runner-the-death-cure-is-dystopian-yawn-w515847), as Inverse [previously reported]. On Rotten Tomatoes, “The Death Cure” is sitting uncomfortably at 44 percent on the Tomatometer.

So why does its box office performance completely seem so at odds with the critics? Well, its intended audience is, after all, “young adult”, and not the high-brow film critics of entertainment media.

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So, yes, the plot of “The Death Cure” sounds like basically every other dystopian young adult movie ever made: Dylan O’Brien stars as a young man fighting for survival in some bleak future where the hellishness was specifically designed — by some Machiavellian (adult) leaders, especially fellow threequels and books-adapted-to-movies “The Hunger Games”]and “Divergent”. But that is exactly its appeal.

For teenage moviegoers in the throes of rebellion — or, at least, a period of immense questioning — stories of an ordinary teen turned into a hero against the adult machine is deeply resonant.

“The hallmark of moving from childhood to adulthood is that you start to recognize that things aren’t black and white,” Jon Ostenson, who studies young adult dystopian literature at Brigham Young University, told NPR. “Teenagers see echoes of a world that they know.”

And not in the whole the-real-world-is-burning way that pushes adult audiences away from bleak sci-fi futures. Ostenson says hat teens’ problems include the facts that, “Parents impose curfews, and no one lets them drive unless they are ready or not.”

And with that in mind, the film is doing much better than its 44% rating on Rotten Tomato would predict. In fact, as its box office showing indicates, it’s actually performing fairly well. The first of the “Maze Runner” films made $32.5 million on opening weekend in September 2014, while the second, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”, opened to $30.6 million in September 2015.

There’s been no shortage of supernatural prophecies in Game of Thrones and plenty of them are expected to come to fruition in Season 8 (especially if you happen to be Cersei Lannister). However, one specific prophecy from Season 2 that we may have overlooked is taking on new meaning as we head into GoT’s final episodes, and it could have dire consequences for three of the most important remaining characters: Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, and Daenerys Targaryen.

We’ve all heard of hidden gnomes and hungry gnomes in the world of Fortnite: Battle Royale, but these days in the wintery Season 7, we’re dealing with frozen gnomes in a brand-new challenge.

Fortnite Season 7, Week 6 began Thursday morning, and in addition to a challenge involving a sliding ice puck, there’s also a challenge where players have to “search chilly gnomes.” Just how chilly are they? Well, these gnomes are all frozen solid. Sad!

The long winter has felt so incredibly long since Game of Thrones Season 7 finished in August 2017, but now we’ll finally learn exactly how much time is left before the final season begins sometime in April.

On Friday, the official HBO Twitter account shared a screen capture of a supposedly real iMessage conversation between what we might as well call the HBO Social Media Manager and their “Boss.” Framed as a subordinate pestering his superior about the Game of Thrones premiere date, the conversation ultimately confirms that right before the True Detective Season 3 premiere this Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern, HBO is going to announce the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere release date.

You’re driving alone down a dirt road, and you’re falling asleep at the wheel. Suddenly, a burst of light streaks across the sky — there’s a floating, flat shape in the air right in front of your truck, and though it soared quickly into view, it seems to have stopped completely. A beam of light shoots out from underneath the craft, and a little man with huge eyes, an enormous head, and a tiny body appears in the middle of the road. He doesn’t want to hurt you; he just wants to stick a probe in your nasal cavity.

The Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 7, Week 6 Snowfall challenge sends players to a very familiar location from December to fetch a Durr Burger-themed hidden banner.

Week 6 officially began Thursday morning, and many players have already completed all seven of the weekly challenges — including the ice puck and chilly gnomes — which means they get access to the secret Snowfall loading screen. That, in turn, offers a clue to where players can find a hidden banner.