Grosses

'The Equalizer' Impresses with $34.1M Start; 'The Maze Runner' Holds Up Well with $17.4M; 'The Boxtrolls' Debuts in Third with Very Solid $17.3MSeptember 29, 2014 01:07 PM

by Daniel Garris

Sony's The Equalizer debuted in first place this weekend with a strong start of $34.14 million. The action thriller starring Denzel Washington debuted towards the higher end of pre-release expectations, which were lofty, especially for the month of September. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Equalizer delivered the fourth largest opening weekend ever for the month of September (behind only 2012's Hotel Transylvania, 2013's Insidious Chapter 2 and 2002's Sweet Home Alabama). The film's debut represented the third largest opening weekend performance ever for Washington (behind only 2007's American Gangster and 2012's Safe House). The Equalizer opened 4 percent stronger than the $32.79 million start of 2010's The Book of Eli and 15 percent below the $40.17 million start of Safe House.

The Equalizer opened with $12.49 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.5 million from Thursday night shows), increased 8 percent on Saturday to gross $13.49 million and declined 40 percent on Sunday to take in $8.15 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.73 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (52 percent) and towards moviegoers 30 years and older (65 percent). The Equalizer received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which is an encouraging sign for the film going forward.

The Maze Runner placed in second with $17.44 million. The young adult adaptation from Fox held up relatively well this weekend, as it was down 46 percent from last weekend's strong start. The Maze Runner has grossed $57.96 million in ten days and continues to display strong early holding power for a young adult adaptation. Thanks in part to a significantly stronger second weekend hold, The Maze Runner is now running 32 percent ahead of the $44.01 million ten-day take of last year's Ender's Game and is already on the verge of reaching the $61.74 million final domestic gross of Ender's Game.

The Boxtrolls was off to a very solid third place start this weekend with $17.28 million. The latest 3D stop motion animated film from Focus and Laika debuted a bit above pre-release expectations. Compared to previous films from Focus and Laika, The Boxtrolls opened 23 percent ahead of the $14.09 million start of 2012's ParaNorman and a slim 3 percent ahead of the $16.85 million start of 2009's Coraline. ParaNorman and Coraline both displayed terrific holding power and going forward The Boxtrolls will hope to accomplish the same.

The Boxtrolls opened with $4.93 million on Friday, increased a strong 51 percent on Saturday to gross $7.46 million and declined 34.5 percent on Sunday to gross $4.89 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.51 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewered towards female moviegoers (57 percent). The Boxtrolls received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Warner's This Is Where I Leave You placed in fourth with $6.89 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey held up well this weekend, as it was down 40 percent from last weekend's so-so start. This Is Where I Leave You has grossed $22.44 million in ten days. That places the film 13.5 percent behind the $25.94 million ten-day start of 2011's The Change-Up (which fell 53 percent in its second weekend to gross $6.31 million).

Fellow Warner Bros. release Dolphin Tale 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $4.79 million. The family film sequel was down 46 percent from last weekend, as the film appears to have taken a bit of a hit from The Boxtrolls arriving in the marketplace. Dolphin Tale 2 has grossed $33.62 million in 17 days. The film is currently running 31 percent behind the $49.04 million 17-day take of 2011's Dolphin Tale and is displaying significantly softer holding power.

No Good Deed followed in sixth with $4.51 million. Sony's low-budget thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson was down 54 percent. No Good Deed continues to be very front-loaded, but has still grossed a healthy $46.53 million in 17 days.

Universal's A Walk Among the Tombstones was down five spots and a massive 67 percent from last weekend with a seventh place take of $4.19 million. Lackluster word of mouth and the new direct competition from The Equalizer both had a clear negative effect on the Liam Neeson led action thriller this weekend. A Walk Among the Tombstones is now running below expectations with a ten-day start of $20.83 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy was down just 28 percent to place in eighth with $3.77 million. In the process, the blockbuster sci-fi superhero film from Disney and Marvel surpassed the $318.41 million final unadjusted gross of 2008's Iron Man. Guardians of the Galaxy has grossed a massive $319.17 million through 59 days of release.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Dec. 9 - Sun, Dec. 11

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1New Year's Eve$13,019,180--3,505--$3,714$13,019,1801Warner Bros. / New Line
2The Sitter$9,851,435--2,750--$3,582$9,851,4351Fox
3The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$7,819,402-53%3,604-442$2,170$259,402,6694Lionsgate / Summit
4The Muppets$6,978,870-37%3,328-112$2,097$65,742,1283Disney
5Arthur Christmas$6,510,486-12%3,272-104$1,990$33,400,5983Sony / Columbia
6Hugo$6,050,309-20%2,608768$2,320$33,414,7193Paramount
7Happy Feet Two$3,690,304-38%2,840-696$1,299$56,790,4054Warner Bros.
8Jack and Jill$3,085,098-42%2,787-262$1,107$68,527,3855Sony / Columbia
9Immortals$2,461,227-45%2,299-328$1,071$79,868,7325Relativity Media
10Tower Heist$2,358,655-40%2,069-335$1,140$74,122,1856Universal
11Puss in Boots (2011)$1,628,199-46%1,843-907$883$141,873,4747Paramount / DreamWorks
12J. Edgar$1,188,413-49%1,555-430$764$34,761,1115Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$4,380,138-9%876302$5,000$23,630,5614Fox Searchlight
2My Week with Marilyn$780,822-34%2440$3,200$5,118,6613Weinstein Company
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$474,749-52%470-240$1,010$33,986,2086Warner Bros. / New Line
4In Time$347,020-37%354-67$980$36,405,8927Fox
5Dolphin Tale$269,737-14%342-68$789$71,068,65212Warner Bros.
6Melancholia$230,558-15%14516$1,590$1,971,4435Magnolia Pictures
7Courageous$193,760-9%191-74$1,014$33,333,63911Sony / TriStar
8Margin Call$178,130-17%148-2$1,204$4,947,0808Roadside Attractions
9Like Crazy$165,779-36%16210$1,023$3,147,0927Paramount Vantage
10Moneyball$150,309-74%208-796$723$74,176,91212Sony / Columbia
11Paranormal Activity 3$142,6529%30247$472$103,629,0048Paramount
12Real Steel$131,872-28%206-47$640$83,611,20010Disney / DreamWorks
13The Way$123,396-31%120-40$1,028$3,836,96710Producers Distribution Agency
14The Ides of March$118,673-77%187-829$635$40,467,88110Sony / Columbia
15Midnight in Paris$115,370-52%195-110$592$56,177,98730Sony Pictures Classics
16The Skin I Live In$110,230-30%109-7$1,011$2,882,0869Sony Pictures Classics
17The Help$106,325-39%212-50$502$169,224,62518Disney / DreamWorks
18The Three Musketeers (2011)$86,234-27%168-40$513$20,227,5178Summit
19The Smurfs$81,564-38%181-146$451$142,614,15820Sony / Columbia
20Footloose (2011)$70,026-51%201-108$348$51,142,4549Paramount
21Abduction$68,213-28%131-20$521$28,064,22612Lionsgate
2250/50$65,038-51%146-50$445$34,887,97811Summit
23Contagion$44,759-37%111-44$403$75,638,74314Warner Bros.
24Desi Boyz$42,917-75%1030$417$1,066,1673Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$310,562--4--$77,641$310,5621Focus
2Young Adult$310,263--8--$38,783$310,2631Paramount
3The Artist$295,36140%1610$18,460$888,7413Weinstein Company
4Shame$283,415-19%2111$13,496$781,5012Fox Searchlight
5The Polar Express (2011 re-issue)$115,29760%251$4,612$297,1573Warner Bros.
6A Dangerous Method$76,936-36%40$19,234$535,9853Sony Pictures Classics
7Born to Be Wild 3D$62,090-3%490$1,267$14,675,83536Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Martha Marcy May Marlene$51,057-44%72-12$709$2,821,0848Fox Searchlight
9Drive (2011)$48,452-20%70-16$692$34,677,49713FilmDistrict
10Take Shelter$47,72113%639$757$1,573,21511Sony Pictures Classics
11Le Havre$38,21177%237$1,661$317,6388Janus Films
12Rise of the Planet of the Apes$35,670-18%61-23$585$176,698,08619Fox
13Hubble 3D$33,9070%203$1,695$30,009,44591Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Anonymous$31,852-56%82-23$388$4,463,2927Sony / Columbia
15Pastorela$30,870-62%44-11$702$136,5702Lionsgate / Pantelion
16The Rum Diary$29,471-23%630$468$13,070,4627FilmDistrict
17The Lion King 3D$26,683-27%38-15$702$94,163,65413Disney
18We Need to Talk About Kevin$24,587--1--$24,587$24,5871Oscilloscope
19The Women on the 6th Floor$23,38520%132$1,799$397,03610Strand Releasing
20Mozart's Sister$16,738169%166$1,046$646,26817Music Box Films
21Eames: The Architect and the Painter$15,942-23%11-1$1,449$112,3684First Run Features
22Into the Abyss$15,8319%309$528$199,7655IFC Films
23Under the Sea 3D$13,187-7%103$1,319$30,184,803148Warner Bros. / IMAX
24Young Goethe In Love$12,524119%83$1,566$81,4006Music Box Films
25Elite Squad: The Enemy Within$11,52518%71$1,646$68,7165Variance Films
26Tomboy (2011)$11,517-16%94$1,280$72,8804Dada Films
27Space Station 3D$10,595--2--$5,298$84,596,560504IMAX
28The Guard$10,301-21%15-2$687$5,313,32720Sony Pictures Classics
29The Big Year$8,715-24%250$349$7,192,2389Fox
30Outrage$8,13125%75$1,162$18,2542Magnolia / Magnet
31The Man Nobody Knew$6,170-25%62$1,028$158,72212First Run Features
32Sleeping Beauty (2011)$5,944-35%42$1,486$21,0372IFC Films
33Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$5,888-34%23-8$256$38,536,37617Weinstein Company
34Khodorkovsky$5,887-4%10$5,887$20,1022Kino Lorber
35Magic to Win$5,125--1--$5,125$5,1251China Lion Film
36Blackthorn$4,245-23%5-1$849$174,92610Magnolia Pictures
37Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$4,233-33%90$470$4,420,291833D Entertainment
38My Piece of the Pie$4,213--2--$2,107$4,2131IFC Films
39Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey$3,132-70%5-10$626$192,4158Submarine Deluxe
40Crazy Wisdom$3,109-65%20$1,555$33,0103Alive Mind Cinema
41Circumstance$2,843-28%1-1$2,843$452,60216Roadside Attractions
42Revenge of the Electric Car$2,79110%31$930$149,1368Area23a
43I Melt With You$2,729--2--$1,365$2,7291Magnolia Pictures
44Project Nim$2,657--2--$1,329$410,07723Roadside Attractions
45Knuckle$2,647--3--$882$2,6471Vitagraph
46Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life$2,351131%63$392$230,31115Music Box Films
47Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness$2,250-55%2-3$1,125$836,79623International Film Circuit
48House of Tolerance$2,120-23%32$707$14,9043IFC Films
49Cars 2$2,108-73%15-25$141$191,450,87525Disney
50The Other F Word$2,051-43%20$1,026$53,2146Oscilloscope
51The Mill and the Cross$1,937-66%4-2$484$257,20813Kino Lorber
52My Reincarnation$1,851-3%21$926$33,4917Long Shot Factory
53Inni$1,705-70%4-3$426$113,9727Cinema Purgatorio
54Garbo: The Spy$1,580--2--$790$16,0104First Run Features
55The Interrupters$1,316--1--$1,316$260,79920Cinema Guild
56Amigo$1,201--1--$1,201$174,36517Variance Films
57London River$1,044--1--$1,044$1,3141Cinema Libre
58The Whale$99841%10$998$56,22214Paladin
59The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch$95614%42$239$32,0604Music Box Films
60Charlotte Rampling: The Look$943--1--$943$11,6736Kino Lorber
61Laugh at My Pain$935-54%3-2$312$7,705,97414CodeBlack Entertainment
62Answers to Nothing$866-94%7-14$124$21,3042Roadside Attractions
63Summer (2011 re-issue)$796--1--$796$37,45527The Film Desk
64Higher Ground$720-43%5-1$144$835,31516Sony Pictures Classics
65El Bulli: Cooking in Progress$690-64%10$690$190,53020Alive Mind Cinema
66Restless (2011)$6853706%32$228$162,75313Sony Pictures Classics
67Paul Goodman Changed My Life$617-44%21$309$24,2668Zeitgeist Films
68Tyrannosaur$526-62%1-2$526$15,0854Strand Releasing
69Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (2011 re-issue)$48876%10$488$18,08921The Film Desk
70The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu$471--1--$471$25,26014The Film Desk
71Hell and Back Again$401-69%10$401$34,29210Docurama Films
72The Future$219--1--$219$568,50920Roadside Attractions
73Rapt$85-59%10$85$45,66923Lorber Films