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, Dec. 14 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Dec. 14 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$1,727,7675%3,555--$486$27,370,9351Fox
2The Tourist$1,675,61123%2,756--$608$19,510,9111Sony / Columbia
3Tangled$1,002,18615%3,565-38$281$117,269,8243Disney
4Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$803,09811%3,577-548$225$259,196,9474Warner Bros.
5Burlesque$451,02731%2,876-161$157$33,337,3303Sony / Screen Gems
6Love and Other Drugs$419,12832%2,240-218$187$28,365,8933Fox
7Unstoppable (2010)$355,46618%2,967-185$120$74,885,7015Fox
8Due Date$301,16711%1,990-460$151$95,493,2516Warner Bros.
9Faster (2010)$203,52919%2,106-364$97$21,712,0953CBS Films
10Megamind$194,3799%2,425-748$80$140,591,4366Paramount / DreamWorks
11The Next Three Days$133,22229%1,426-810$93$20,537,7254Lionsgate
12The Warrior's Way$125,4047%1,6220$77$5,194,8302Relativity Media
13Morning Glory (2010)$71,90526%1,004-1259$72$30,329,5825Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Dec. 14 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1127 Hours$141,14421%416-17$339$8,508,4736Fox Searchlight
2Fair Game (2010)$63,95624%4360$147$8,322,6966Summit
3Red (2010)$51,66019%564-215$92$87,991,8589Summit
4The Social Network$40,61831%227-33$179$91,467,95211Sony / Columbia
5The Town$18,24415%255-63$72$91,981,11013Warner Bros.
6Despicable Me$17,85017%255-25$70$250,285,42023Universal
7Skyline$16,6209%277-301$60$21,285,0355Universal / Rogue
8Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$14,92212%288-34$52$55,060,95212Warner Bros.
9For Colored Girls$13,686-4%243-242$56$37,561,3976Lionsgate
10Jackass 3D$7,13428%108-72$66$116,844,9729Paramount
11Life As We Know It$6,19411%120-88$52$52,221,67710Warner Bros.
12Inception$6,00615%108-9$56$292,473,45822Warner Bros.
13Paranormal Activity 2$4,655-19%125-75$37$84,344,4878Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Dec. 14 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Black Swan$475,89612%9072$5,288$6,485,5142Fox Searchlight
2The King's Speech$84,65431%1913$4,455$1,673,2543Weinstein Company
3The Fighter$37,90225%4--$9,476$368,1881Paramount
4Hubble 3D$25,73024%570$451$19,198,46539Warner Bros. / IMAX
5I Love You Phillip Morris$18,0587%3528$516$339,3672Roadside Attractions
6The Polar Express (2010 re-issue)$11,88470%150$792$352,1946Warner Bros.
7Waiting for 'Superman'$8,44410%55-30$154$6,388,01012Paramount Vantage
8Conviction$5,93839%75-32$79$6,744,2509Fox Searchlight
9Under the Sea 3D$5,60123%11-2$509$25,045,09696Warner Bros. / IMAX
10The Tempest$5,0334%5--$1,007$52,2921Disney
11Hereafter$4,06727%87-27$47$32,497,9709Warner Bros.
12Hemingway's Garden of Eden$1,652-11%14--$118$15,9191Roadside Attractions
13Stone$1,42449%19-3$75$1,779,65710Relativity / Overture
14The Nutcracker in 3D$1,105-6%37-78$30$192,8433Freestyle Releasing
15Jack Goes Boating$97737%4233$23$540,49613Relativity / Overture
16Wild Target$8558%10-3$86$118,8357Freestyle
17Frankie & Alice (2010)$5287%1--$528$8,7891Freestyle Releasing
18Winter's Bone$249-37%31$83$6,233,07327Roadside Attractions
19Cool It$13835%10-5$14$62,2075Roadside Attractions