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, Aug. 24 - Sun, Aug. 26

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Expendables 2$13,423,579-53%3,35539$4,001$52,237,5232Lionsgate
2The Bourne Legacy$9,336,005-45%3,654-99$2,555$85,522,2203Universal
3ParaNorman$8,639,288-39%3,45526$2,501$28,261,5772Focus
4The Campaign$7,472,397-43%3,30247$2,263$64,575,5693Warner Bros.
5The Dark Knight Rises$7,222,317-34%2,606-551$2,771$422,255,2186Warner Bros.
6The Odd Life of Timothy Green$7,122,552-34%2,5980$2,742$27,077,0422Disney
72016: Obama's America$6,509,433423%1,091922$5,966$9,347,3097Rocky Mountain Pictures
8Premium Rush$6,030,164--2,255--$2,674$6,030,1641Sony / Columbia
9Hope Springs (2012)$5,725,107-37%2,40241$2,383$44,806,5713Sony / Columbia
10Hit and Run$4,526,222--2,870--$1,577$5,719,2561Open Road
11Sparkle (2012)$3,983,822-66%2,2440$1,775$18,656,8962Sony / TriStar
12Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$2,245,917-41%1,965-772$1,143$42,883,5174Fox
13Total Recall (2012)$1,760,436-49%1,576-858$1,117$55,173,7734Sony / Columbia
14Ice Age: Continental Drift$1,751,301-42%1,550-724$1,130$153,500,0767Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Apparition$2,841,488--810--$3,508$2,841,4881Warner Bros.
2Ted (2012)$947,430-39%783-386$1,210$214,762,8059Universal
3Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$605,801-14%374-32$1,620$213,689,06212Paramount / DreamWorks
4Brave$516,772-37%452-189$1,143$230,089,03810Disney
5Step Up Revolution$493,908-53%428-477$1,154$33,703,3215Lionsgate / Summit
6The Amazing Spider-Man$491,890-35%418-180$1,177$258,355,8278Sony / Columbia
7Beasts of the Southern Wild$463,125-18%212-24$2,185$8,859,7189Fox Searchlight
8Ek Tha Tiger$434,516-62%1191$3,651$2,347,7742Yash Raj Films
9Moonrise Kingdom$401,929-20%33250$1,211$43,671,69714Focus
10The Intouchables$351,378-4%1940$1,811$10,446,57514Weinstein Company
11Celeste and Jesse Forever$288,90117%11548$2,512$1,029,4974Sony Pictures Classics
12Men in Black 3$239,554-21%232-26$1,033$178,515,57714Sony / Columbia
13The Watch$230,558-54%250-263$922$33,465,2355Fox
14Magic Mike$228,44215%355100$643$113,086,5449Warner Bros.
15To Rome with Love$194,542-20%22161$880$15,879,76610Sony Pictures Classics
16Ruby Sparks$163,534-46%135-83$1,211$2,105,3805Fox Searchlight
17Snow White and the Huntsman$155,225-26%194-50$800$154,917,25513Universal
18Marvel's The Avengers$115,335-23%123-19$938$617,800,44617Disney
19The Hunger Games$114,851-44%189-41$608$407,884,01123Lionsgate
20The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$92,812-14%112-16$829$45,753,83617Fox Searchlight
21Savages$84,250-20%117-37$720$47,202,2958Universal
22Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$75,038-76%130-294$577$3,296,6283ARC Entertainment
23Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection$60,096-47%106-93$567$65,054,6389Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Robot & Frank$284,105699%4644$6,176$335,4142IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
2The Queen of Versailles$191,192-8%9613$1,992$1,538,3856Magnolia Pictures
3Cosmopolis$154,529120%6360$2,453$448,3492Entertainment One Films
4To the Arctic 3D$135,729-14%520$2,610$7,955,83419Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Searching For Sugar Man$121,21114%292$4,180$495,1535Sony Pictures Classics
6Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi$119,743--54--$2,217$119,7431Eros International
72 Days In New York$95,442-5%4121$2,328$284,1163Magnolia Pictures
8The Imposter$80,391-4%245$3,350$385,5097Indomina Releasing
9Red Hook Summer$79,944243%2920$2,757$168,6853Variance Films
10Farewell, My Queen$79,856-17%644$1,248$1,089,5397Cohen Media Group
11Samsara$76,222--2--$38,111$76,2221Oscilloscope
12Sleepwalk With Me$68,801--1--$68,801$68,8011IFC Films
13Prometheus$58,041-24%91-10$638$126,297,83612Fox
14Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter$52,719-28%75-30$703$37,397,11710Fox
15Safety Not Guaranteed$47,80917%540$885$3,754,73712FilmDistrict
16Born to Be Wild 3D$47,2081%330$1,431$20,675,87473Warner Bros. / IMAX
17Bernie$45,123-27%52-19$868$9,117,65618Millennium Entertainment
18Compliance$44,749172%1110$4,068$88,0952Magnolia Pictures
19Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry$34,695-29%36-3$964$383,8865IFC Films
20Hubble 3D$34,473-29%12-2$2,873$34,254,170128Warner Bros. / IMAX
21Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D$28,239-55%66-74$428$25,309,9108Paramount
22Little White Lies$25,654--3--$8,551$25,6541MPI Media
23Under the Sea 3D$25,631-13%6-1$4,272$32,269,187185Warner Bros. / IMAX
24Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$24,340-4%100$2,434$6,032,6721203D Entertainment
25Hermano$18,835--49--$384$18,8351Music Box Films
26The Well-Digger's Daughter$18,538-38%10-4$1,854$212,3556Kino Lorber
27Beloved (2012)$15,417-40%72$2,202$55,4342IFC Films
28Neighboring Sounds$12,666--2--$6,333$12,6661Cinema Guild
29Your Sister's Sister$11,237-36%15-11$749$1,597,48611IFC Films
30People Like Us$9,263-46%23-31$403$12,431,7929Disney / DreamWorks
31Take This Waltz$8,743-52%17-7$514$1,194,4749Magnolia Pictures
32Easy Money (2012)$8,435-36%50$1,687$180,2077Weinstein Company
33Somewhere Between$7,799--1--$7,799$7,7991Long Shot Factory
34360$7,445-18%124$620$77,1224Magnolia Pictures
35Chicken With Plums$6,527-42%20$3,264$85,4952Sony Pictures Classics
36Painted Skin: The Resurrection$6,424-64%4-2$1,606$33,2122Well Go USA
37Neil Young Journeys$5,732-47%13-10$441$176,6059Sony Pictures Classics
38Total Recall (1990) (2012 re-issue)$5,511--1--$5,511$18,0813Rialto Pictures
39Teddy Bear$5,388--2--$2,694$6,7611Film Movement
40Hysteria$5,230-40%8-6$654$1,771,00715Sony Pictures Classics
41A Cat In Paris$5,12460%6-1$854$302,81213GKIDS
42Kumare$4,63514%63$773$101,86610Kino Lorber
43Dark Horse$3,973-33%5-1$795$166,22812Vitagraph
44Nobody Else But You$3,8464534%21$1,923$38,16816First Run Features
45Wild Horse, Wild Ride$3,610--1--$3,610$3,6101Screen Media Films
46Unforgivable$3,54759%20$1,774$117,3539Strand Releasing
47Death by China$3,286-42%10$3,286$10,5722Area23a
48Trishna$3,208-41%110$292$240,3817IFC Films
49The Day I Saw Your Heart$2,810--1--$2,810$2,8101Film Movement
50Meet The Fokkens$2,682-41%10$2,682$25,3243Kino Lorber
51Side By Side$2,500-64%21$1,250$11,3852Tribeca Film
52Where Do We Go Now?$2,4601%61$410$527,42316Sony Pictures Classics
53The Magic of Belle Isle$2,356-2%73$337$97,9318Magnolia Pictures
54The Invisible War$2,097458%43$524$56,41710Cinedigm
55Monsieur Lazhar$1,833-39%3-3$611$1,995,36544Music Box Films
56Ballplayer: Pelotero$1,777--2--$889$43,3377Strand Releasing
57$upercapitalist$1,65749%10$1,657$15,9193Truly Indie
58Klown$1,528-43%3-2$509$61,2745Drafthouse Films
59Celine & Julie Go Boating (2012 re-issue)$1,417-16%10$1,417$30,83117New Yorker Films
60Elena (2012)$1,286-44%1-1$1,286$210,46015Zeitgeist Films
61Turn Me On, Dammit!$93629%10$936$122,05022New Yorker Films
62Oslo, August 31st$888-66%1-1$888$77,14314Strand Releasing
63Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present$830116%32$277$76,13811Music Box Films
64You've Been Trumped$795-12%53$159$12,0794International Film Circuit
65Union Square (2012)$758-75%20$379$41,3857Dada Films
66Grand Illusion: 75th Anniversary Restoration$722-60%10$722$145,77516Rialto Pictures
67We Won't Grow Old Together$564--1--$564$8,55812The Film Desk
685 Broken Cameras$361-67%10$361$66,77313Kino Lorber
69OC87$339--1--$339$40,66714Fisher Klingenstein Films
70Alps$312--1--$312$6,6457Kino Lorber
71The Color Wheel$238156%10$238$17,33315Cinema Conservancy