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, Dec. 8 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Dec. 8 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$1,129,638-12%4,1250$274$248,066,3393Warner Bros.
2Tangled$1,096,503-13%3,6030$304$99,972,1242Disney
3Burlesque$582,829-18%3,0370$192$28,804,0872Sony / Screen Gems
4Love and Other Drugs$508,796-15%2,4583$207$24,125,3442Fox
5Unstoppable (2010)$432,448-14%3,152-31$137$70,080,9384Fox
6Due Date$366,205-5%2,450-105$149$91,952,1965Warner Bros.
7Faster (2010)$327,787-18%2,47016$133$19,274,5032CBS Films
8Megamind$279,338-2%3,173-238$88$137,421,9715Paramount / DreamWorks
9The Next Three Days$238,404-17%2,236-328$107$19,036,9643Lionsgate
10The Warrior's Way$209,860-19%1,622--$129$3,775,6211Relativity Media
11Morning Glory (2010)$172,301-13%2,263-178$76$29,520,8054Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Dec. 8 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1127 Hours$157,998-7%433140$365$7,081,7305Fox Searchlight
2Fair Game (2010)$86,296-10%43640$198$7,564,1765Summit
3Red (2010)$74,970-2%779-135$96$87,389,8968Summit
4The Social Network$35,331-5%260-31$136$91,074,30010Sony / Columbia
5Skyline$34,965-13%578-611$60$21,064,9304Universal / Rogue
6For Colored Girls$31,391-8%485-120$65$37,349,8635Lionsgate
7The Town$20,805-10%3180$65$91,796,81612Warner Bros.
8Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$15,161-15%322192$47$54,859,31911Warner Bros.
9Despicable Me$13,875-9%28014$50$250,047,03522Universal
10Jackass 3D$13,434-13%180-3$75$116,774,9978Paramount
11Conviction$8,859-18%10721$83$6,691,1338Fox Searchlight
12Paranormal Activity 2$8,4899%200-79$42$84,281,2417Paramount
13Life As We Know It$7,321-8%208-41$35$52,143,7459Warner Bros.
14Inception$7,127-4%117-27$61$292,404,65421Warner Bros.
15Hereafter$5,6031%114-88$49$32,453,2128Warner Bros.
16The Nutcracker in 3D$5,041-11%11570$44$174,4002Freestyle Releasing

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Dec. 8 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Black Swan$212,7501%18--$11,819$2,077,2411Fox Searchlight
2Hubble 3D$30,59825%570$537$19,021,20838Warner Bros. / IMAX
3The King's Speech$30,4976%62$5,083$894,3272Weinstein Company
4I Love You Phillip Morris$8,946-24%7--$1,278$142,6441Roadside Attractions
5Waiting for 'Superman'$8,560-14%8516$101$6,344,06211Paramount Vantage
6The Polar Express (2010 re-issue)$7,9681%15--$531$206,2695Warner Bros.
7Guzaarish$3,935-19%58-38$68$1,000,9213UTV
8Under the Sea 3D$3,510-3%130$270$25,002,95895Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps$2,916-6%59-31$49$52,445,47911Fox
10Nowhere Boy$2,4311%23-17$106$1,455,0769Weinstein Company
11Stone$1,746-36%22-1$79$1,767,4339Relativity / Overture
12Wild Target$1,74260%137$134$95,8676Freestyle
13The Tillman Story$54428%141$39$801,99616Weinstein Company
14Cool It$207-33%1514$14$60,7154Roadside Attractions
15Let Me In$116-25%11-20$11$12,134,78010Relativity / Overture
16Jack Goes Boating$76-21%90$8$533,57412Relativity / Overture
17Winter's Bone$7532%20$38$6,229,34826Roadside Attractions