Maze Runner: YA Book Adaptation for Male and Female teenagers?

Fox’s “The Maze Runner,” based on the book by James Dashner, may generate $30 million  when it bows on September 19.

Both males and females are saying they will buy tickets, which is unusual for a YA book adaptation.

Even action-driven projects like “The Hunger Games” started out with women outpacing men in desire to see the film. And while the “Maze Runner” books are nowhere near as popular as “The Hunger Games” or “Twilight,” appealing to both genders could help the studio launch a movie franchise with the story of a boy whose memory is erased and must try to escape from a maze in which he finds himself trapped.

The studio recently asked f/x expert Wes Ball, who makes his directing debut on “The Maze Runner,” to work on a script for the second book in the trilogy, “The Scorch Trials,” but that will depend on its box office results.

Featuring “Teen Wolf” actor Dylan O’Brien and “We’re the Millers” star Will Poulter, the $30 million-budgeted project is currently a “first choice” among men under the age of 25, offering a sci-fi storyline with potential male appeal. Yet the film has largely been promoted towards young women in recent weeks, with ads on ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” and stories on gossip sites like Just Jared. O’Brien is a favorite hunk among teen girls, making it easier for Fox to appeal to both sexes.

As Hollywood learned the hard way with recent YA adaptations like “The Giver,” “Beautiful Creatures” and “Mortal Instruments,” not all movie versions of popular novels strike gold at the box office, so it’s critical for lesser-known properties to cast a wider net to young audiences.

After the $280 million grossing worldwide success of “The Fault in Our Stars,” producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are trying to capitalize on more books with youthful appeal after “The Maze Runner.” Their company, Temple Hill Entertainment, is working on adaptations including Ava Dellaira’s debut novel “Love Letters to the Dead” and Nicholas Sparks’ “The Longest Ride.”