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, Sep. 1 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Sep. 1 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The American$1,674,363--2,721--$615$1,674,3630Focus
2Takers$1,247,008-29%2,206--$565$25,261,0061Sony / Screen Gems
3The Last Exorcism$941,797-25%2,874--$328$23,919,6551Lionsgate
4Eat Pray Love$865,586-18%3,023-59$286$63,258,8283Sony / Columbia
5The Expendables$794,627-25%3,398128$234$84,803,4933Lionsgate
6The Other Guys$551,237-24%3,004-468$184$100,934,8824Sony / Columbia
7Inception$473,331-19%1,923-478$246$272,091,8447Warner Bros.
8The Switch (2010)$447,179-28%2,0175$222$17,931,2332Miramax
9Nanny McPhee Returns$433,225-26%2,79814$155$18,446,3102Universal
10Piranha 3D$406,485-27%2,49121$163$19,694,9362Weinstein Company
11Vampires Suck$311,924-31%3,2330$96$28,995,3902Fox
12Despicable Me$262,105-28%1,691-545$155$237,197,3008Universal
13Scott Pilgrim vs. the World$247,455-23%1,269-1551$195$27,040,8003Universal
14Lottery Ticket$244,156-25%1,818-155$134$18,135,0842Warner Bros.
15Dinner for Schmucks$151,330-25%1,501-648$101$69,743,0715Paramount / DreamWorks
16Salt$150,835-29%1,012-782$149$113,806,5596Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Sep. 1 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Avatar$349,947-16%812--$431$754,962,42137Fox
2Step Up 3D$124,493-34%757-835$164$40,160,7514Disney
3Toy Story 3$109,230-27%600-130$182$406,040,34211Disney
4Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$63,279-31%719-861$88$41,503,7585Warner Bros.
5The Kids Are All Right$56,649-26%342-62$166$19,339,0988Focus
6The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$53,347-11%476-81$112$298,200,5979Summit
7Hubble 3D$38,525-8%1510$255$14,682,25924Warner Bros. / IMAX
8The Last Airbender$33,290-20%30683$109$130,704,7959Paramount
9Ramona and Beezus$27,923-16%354-34$79$24,911,5576Fox
10Knight and Day$17,333-34%229-48$76$76,049,32710Fox
11Shrek Forever After$16,129-20%207-25$78$238,107,36315Paramount / DreamWorks
12Charlie St. Cloud$13,445-27%270-377$50$30,798,2855Universal
13Predators$13,438-11%187-47$72$51,661,6538Fox
14Winter's Bone$12,276-27%119-12$103$5,477,45312Roadside Attractions

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Sep. 1 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Under the Sea 3D$10,2464%160$640$24,016,19681Warner Bros. / IMAX
2The Concert$7,37833%200$369$387,8736Weinstein Company
3Flipped$5,799-36%26-3$223$693,9944Warner Bros.
4The A-Team$5,720-16%92-59$62$77,114,30912Fox
5Marmaduke$4,020-9%66-56$61$33,579,13013Fox
6The Tillman Story$3,943-12%51$789$120,5732Weinstein Company
7Peepli Live$3,652-12%45-25$81$715,5533UTV Communications
8Solitary Man$2,674-22%190$141$4,324,90415Anchor Bay
9Farewell (L'affaire Farewell)$2,651-18%21-6$126$456,6136NeoClassics
10Cyrus$2,430-29%32-24$76$7,361,59011Fox Searchlight
11La Soga$1,688-13%12-8$141$149,35437-57 Releasing
12The Disappearance of Alice Creed$1,241-47%7-1$177$134,3674Anchor Bay
13Princess Kaiulani$32055%10$320$872,70116Roadside Attractions
14The People I've Slept With$237-13%1--$237$11,7523People Pictures
15Tales From Earthsea$146-22%1-4$146$48,4613Disney
16City Island$60-29%1-3$60$6,670,91224Anchor Bay