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 Tue, Sep. 28 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Sep. 28 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps$1,976,58016%3,565--$554$22,695,9351Fox
2The Town$1,596,19713%2,88524$553$51,706,7222Warner Bros.
3Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$848,1033%3,575--$237$17,787,6711Warner Bros.
4Easy A$762,00914%2,8560$267$34,142,6462Sony / Screen Gems
5You Again$735,82126%2,548--$289$9,725,4341Disney
6Devil$520,0356%2,8112$185$22,870,8852Universal
7Resident Evil: Afterlife$484,1585%2,642-567$183$53,019,2393Sony / Screen Gems
8Alpha and Omega$231,5503%2,6250$88$15,620,3272Lionsgate
9Takers$132,1546%1,413-726$94$55,141,6535Sony / Screen Gems
10The American$108,66718%1,315-1142$83$34,808,1104Focus
11The Other Guys$73,3272%1,047-780$70$117,112,0048Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Sep. 28 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Inception$124,01114%907-398$137$287,286,36211Warner Bros.
2Eat Pray Love$95,30722%855-813$111$79,214,0187Sony / Columbia
3Machete$68,6981%682-1022$101$25,870,2324Fox
4The Expendables$56,79910%852-1002$67$102,178,6967Lionsgate
5The Virginity Hit$44,75114%700--$64$416,4453Sony / Columbia
6Despicable Me$36,6650%610-334$60$245,587,87512Universal
7Dinner for Schmucks$29,04112%32310$90$72,594,2839Paramount / DreamWorks
8Going the Distance (2010)$23,47711%475-1532$49$17,583,2534Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Last Exorcism$22,8162%707-1306$32$40,818,3955Lionsgate
10Nanny McPhee Returns$19,0500%765-823$25$28,264,4006Universal
11Scott Pilgrim vs. the World$16,4051%233-151$70$31,389,1407Universal
12Lottery Ticket$15,7961%370-307$43$23,973,7006Warner Bros.
13Vampires Suck$12,5484%415-549$30$36,195,7146Fox
14The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$11,0289%224-115$49$300,319,85413Summit
15Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$9,961-1%267-93$37$43,294,6749Warner Bros.
16The Kids Are All Right$9,1571%107-62$86$20,672,23112Focus
17Ramona and Beezus$5,66611%191-69$30$25,881,73110Fox
18Flipped$4,450-10%106-269$42$1,714,0588Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Sep. 28 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Catfish$50,873-2%5745$893$914,2472Universal / Rogue
2Hubble 3D$31,3485%0-63--$15,977,92328Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Never Let Me Go$25,084-3%2622$965$489,4962Fox Searchlight
4Waiting for 'Superman'$13,164-8%4--$3,291$166,5371Paramount Vantage
5Jack Goes Boating$12,33417%3733$333$152,2582Relativity / Overture
6Buried$10,072-9%11--$916$121,3981Lionsgate
7Winter's Bone$6,93210%82-21$85$6,063,11716Roadside Attractions
8Under the Sea 3D$6,407-26%182$356$24,294,17085Warner Bros. / IMAX
9The Tillman Story$5,38620%27-1$199$597,4256Weinstein Company
10Avatar$4,70924%29-100$162$760,246,07041Fox
11Bran Nue Dae$4,0072%5538$73$96,7853Freestyle Releasing
12Piranha 3D$3,90733%66-198$59$24,827,1236Weinstein Company
13The Concert$3,87370%18-2$215$583,81210Weinstein Company
14We Are Family$2,54676%24-54$106$635,2704UTV Communications
15Knight and Day$1,618-14%45-19$36$76,405,43214Fox
16Cyrus$1,21132%14-5$87$7,439,14115Fox Searchlight
17The Romantics$1,04754%6-8$175$105,0093Four of a Kind
18Solitary Man$274111%6-1$46$4,357,93719Anchor Bay
19The Disappearance of Alice Creed$115-38%2-1$58$158,4278Anchor Bay