There are three sci-fi series in play right now from the Hollywood Studios that are all doing well. They cover pretty much the same ground, which is that civilization has turned to crap and the Millennials (or their equivalent) have given up their texting and social media constructs to save what’s left of the world.
From The Hunger Games to The Divergent Series to Maze Runner, our young protagonists must overcome seemingly impossible obstacles thrown at them by a social order bent on maintaining power. Of course they succeed and do so over a series of films … the faithful return again and again to their local multiplex to see how their “alter egos” are doing.
The latest series, Maze Runner, adapted from writer James Dashner’s novel for the screen by 20th Century-Fox and released theatrically, with direction by Wes Ball, in September of 2014 scored a solid $102.4 million in ticket sales.
Here we are introduced to Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), the last member of a group of “lost boys,” who are trapped in a walled glade that is surrounded by a seemingly endless maze (a maze filled with creatures called Grievers who kill anyone trapped therein). As it turns out these young men are basically lab rats being experimented on by a “social order bent on maintaining power.”
The sequel, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (also directed by Wes Ball), opened exactly one year later (also during the post-Labor Day period) and has pulled in $78.9 million in ticket sales (the next installment is set for February of 2017 and is to be titled Maze Runner: The Death Cure).
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment announced this past week that they will move Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials to the DVD and Blu-ray market place in time for prime sales activity during the Christmas gift-giving holiday period. It will be joing Fantastic Four (announced the previous week) on Dec. 15.
The ARR is a swift-to-market 88 days.
As to bonus goodies, the DVD edition includes a gag reel and 14 deleted or extended scenes with optional commentary from director Wes Ball, writer T.S. Nowlin, producer Joe Hartwick Jr. and film editor Dan Zimmerman.
These elements are included with the Blu-ray SKU, plus two featurettes — “Jason’s Report” and the multi-part “Secrets of the Scorch” — and a multi-part examination of the film’s visual effects (with commentary by Ball), complete with a visual effects reel.