When Hollywood thinks they have a profitable new franchise on their hands, it doesn’t take them long to get the ball rolling so they can capitalize on the hype. This summer alone it took Paramount all of one big opening weekend to green light Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, and Marvel gave Guardians of the Galaxy 2 the go ahead, and scheduled a release date, before the film even hit theaters. And it’s happening again. About a year ago, 20th Century Fox started work on The Scorch Trials, the sequel to the young adult novel adaptation The Maze Runner, which just opened this past weekend, and now, hot on the heels of a successful debut, we have the first piece of concept art from the sequel.
In their defense, when Fox made the announcement in October of 2013, The Maze Runner was still supposed to be released in February of 2014. The movie was actually supposed to hit theaters ahead of this year’s other new addition into the dystopian YA sweepstakes, Neil Burger’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent. So, at the time anyway, the announcement didn’t come almost a year in advance of their movie, it was only a couple months.
But, as illustrated by the box office take of the opening weekend, they made the right move going ahead with The Scorch Trials. The Maze Runner brought in more than $32 million domestically, and while that pales in comparison to some of the massive openings we saw over the summer, the movie’s budget was a relatively spare $34 million, and when you take into account the worldwide take is already north of $80 million, Fox has a decent sized hit on their hands.
The Maze Runner isn’t going to make as much as the likes of The Hunger Games or Divergent, but this movie’s budget is a fraction of those films (The Hunger Games cost $78 million, Catching Fire cost $130 million, and Divergent cost $85 million). And while it isn’t quite as good a movie as The Hunger Games, it’s light years better than Divergent, and is a franchise we don’t mind going back to a couple more times. Read Nick’s review HERE.
The next little bit contains SPOILERS for The Maze Runner.
After Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), and the other Gladers escape the Maze, their troubles are far from over. In James Dashner’s follow up, The Scorch Trials, the heroes have to trek across the Scorch, an especially burned out part of the world, which has, overall, been cooked by the sun to make it almost uninhabitable. And the folks at WICKED have some nasty tricks up their sleeves to stop them from accomplishing their goal.
In this concept art you can see the state of the Scorch, and the world at large. You catch a glimpse of this at the end of The Maze Runner, but you can rest assured that there will be much more to see when The Scorch Trials hits theaters less than a year from today on September 18, 2015.