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, Nov. 23 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Nov. 23 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$10,264,35317%4,125--$2,488$144,067,1851Warner Bros.
2Megamind$2,087,00838%3,779-170$552$112,914,6273Paramount / DreamWorks
3Unstoppable (2010)$1,550,32337%3,2092$483$44,550,9262Fox
4Due Date$1,254,28437%3,229-136$388$74,602,8913Warner Bros.
5The Next Three Days$791,10228%2,564--$309$7,950,8361Lionsgate
6Morning Glory (2010)$679,62242%2,54426$267$20,982,9682Paramount
7Skyline$446,86524%2,8833$155$18,580,0002Universal / Rogue
8Red (2010)$360,33440%2,034-844$177$84,207,8306Summit
9For Colored Girls$214,50713%1,216-911$176$34,844,3873Lionsgate
10Secretariat$148,48234%1,010-1009$147$56,637,7567Disney
11Paranormal Activity 2$120,56127%1,101-1302$110$83,798,7235Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Nov. 23 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Fair Game (2010)$150,18125%386211$389$3,994,8263Summit
2The Social Network$130,54635%571-517$229$89,471,8448Sony / Columbia
3127 Hours$125,60421%10886$1,163$2,131,9013Fox Searchlight
4Jackass 3D$120,04736%687-920$175$116,303,0706Paramount
5Saw 3D$114,76632%806-1170$142$45,488,8304Lionsgate
6Life As We Know It$77,28642%558-681$139$51,762,8657Warner Bros.
7Guzaarish$50,33666%108--$466$568,7741UTV
8Despicable Me$46,96540%268-5$175$249,249,84020Universal
9Hereafter$35,34818%403-1288$88$32,250,8346Warner Bros.
10Alpha and Omega$32,58438%252129$129$24,859,30710Lionsgate
11The Town$26,94523%165-210$163$91,031,12410Warner Bros.
12Waiting for 'Superman'$25,33043%118-86$215$6,173,4929Paramount Vantage
13Conviction$24,27242%190-303$128$6,479,1226Fox Searchlight
14Inception$23,09924%198-64$117$292,109,78419Warner Bros.
15Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps$13,73647%185-64$74$52,339,1649Fox
16Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$9,4899%138-102$69$54,488,3109Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Nov. 23 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$63,56666%571$1,115$18,457,09336Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Under the Sea 3D$13,73351%13-1$1,056$24,879,45493Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Stone$5,47233%55-32$99$1,721,4217Relativity / Overture
4Nowhere Boy$4,01154%60-51$67$1,401,0777Weinstein Company
5It's Kind of a Funny Story$3,72318%46-21$81$6,356,9367Focus
6Let Me In$3,15321%85-58$37$12,120,5878Relativity / Overture
7Catfish$1,43022%13-12$110$3,223,75310Universal / Rogue
8Wild Target$787-10%72$112$66,3574Freestyle
9Jack Goes Boating$5939%18-16$33$523,06010Relativity / Overture
10The Tillman Story$37822%11-10$34$789,54114Weinstein Company