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.

Daily Domestic Gross Wed, Aug. 18 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Aug. 18 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Vampires Suck$4,016,858--2,976--$1,350$4,016,8580Fox
2The Expendables$3,029,099-22%3,270--$926$45,661,7841Lionsgate
3Eat Pray Love$2,943,789-12%3,082--$955$32,433,9871Sony / Columbia
4The Other Guys$1,930,903-14%3,6510$529$76,379,9342Sony / Columbia
5Inception$1,371,046-11%2,976-442$461$252,914,3035Warner Bros.
6Scott Pilgrim vs. the World$1,141,290-21%2,818--$405$14,653,6251Universal
7Despicable Me$1,111,5050%2,710-703$410$225,514,1756Universal
8Step Up 3D$852,798-29%2,4394$350$32,946,8592Disney
9Dinner for Schmucks$818,260-16%3,04642$269$61,530,0553Paramount / DreamWorks
10Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$722,154-5%2,479-1226$291$37,408,4013Warner Bros.
11Salt$721,201-17%2,588-729$279$105,796,8124Sony / Columbia
12Toy Story 3$364,101-1%1,087-627$335$401,948,4549Disney
13Charlie St. Cloud$244,325-25%1,685-1040$145$29,659,9703Universal
14The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$191,448-9%1,212-492$158$296,459,7917Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Aug. 18 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Kids Are All Right$175,796-5%830-164$212$17,253,9896Focus
2Ramona and Beezus$126,032-23%491-987$257$23,784,5914Fox
3Grown Ups$103,562-24%804-965$129$158,427,2308Sony / Columbia
4Shrek Forever After$53,020-19%254-54$209$237,409,22313Paramount / DreamWorks
5The Last Airbender$46,227-15%364-275$127$129,852,5607Paramount
6Predators$32,782-7%343-111$96$51,166,2296Fox
7Knight and Day$30,865-15%310-26$100$75,387,4068Fox
8Winter's Bone$27,912-1%136-5$205$4,937,27910Roadside Attractions
9The A-Team$18,246-18%204-37$89$76,852,97310Fox
10Middle Men$17,723-15%2520$70$695,7352Paramount
11Marmaduke$17,569-12%151-19$116$33,394,50711Fox
12Iron Man 2$16,801-12%178-46$94$312,110,16115Paramount
13Killers$15,322-5%169-3$91$47,046,78611Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Aug. 18 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$69,6711%541$1,290$13,611,50122Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Peepli Live$24,280-9%64--$379$419,7661UTV Communications
3Under the Sea 3D$23,963-16%163$1,498$23,747,08179Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Flipped$17,521-13%42-3$417$505,8152Warner Bros.
5The Concert$10,21218%190$537$225,3604Weinstein Company
6Cyrus$7,889-4%84-48$94$7,276,8559Fox Searchlight
7Letters to Juliet$6,260-4%61-42$103$52,998,16114Summit
8La Soga$5,021-18%11--$456$69,63017-57 Releasing
9Sex and the City 2$4,508-10%81-119$56$95,342,95912Warner Bros. / New Line
10The Disappearance of Alice Creed$3,2833%122$274$91,2752Anchor Bay
11Date Night$2,955-17%33-13$90$98,665,97119Fox
12Solitary Man$2,642-31%28-17$94$4,267,03513Anchor Bay
13Tales From Earthsea$2,333-5%5--$467$28,5441Disney
14The People I've Slept With$725-70%1--$725$7,1151People Pictures
15Twelve$68011%12-219$57$183,4282Hannover House
16Princess Kaiulani$62226%32$207$868,12114Roadside Attractions
17City Island$52362%81$65$6,666,98122Anchor Bay