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 Thu, Dec. 30 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Dec. 30 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Little Fockers$7,818,8001%3,55418$2,200$76,809,7051Universal
2True Grit (2010)$6,636,0016%3,08336$2,152$62,253,8671Paramount
3TRON: Legacy$6,380,8234%3,4510$1,849$112,547,8712Disney
4Yogi Bear$4,702,5293%3,5150$1,338$53,370,3362Warner Bros.
5Tangled$3,740,3481%2,5820$1,449$158,018,8955Disney
6The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$3,507,3254%2,954-578$1,187$76,673,6223Fox
7Gulliver's Travels (2010)$3,100,613-1%2,993--$1,036$18,154,4071Fox
8Black Swan$2,706,1035%1,50044$1,804$38,926,1964Fox Searchlight
9The Fighter$2,630,5098%2,5118$1,048$36,383,7873Paramount
10The Tourist$1,834,2065%2,7560$666$48,007,4323Sony / Columbia
11Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$1,567,2155%1,732-108$905$278,881,5166Warner Bros.
12How Do You Know$1,400,8063%2,4830$564$20,493,4742Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Dec. 30 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The King's Speech$1,809,8954%700613$2,586$15,156,9385Weinstein Company
2Megamind$230,998-1%764-261$302$143,561,0788Paramount / DreamWorks
3Burlesque$144,0345%330-171$436$37,289,3235Sony / Screen Gems
4Unstoppable (2010)$123,27913%393-185$314$78,943,5657Fox
5Due Date$122,7428%404-20$304$98,807,8038Warner Bros.
6The Social Network$116,2557%249-9$467$92,757,48313Sony / Columbia
7Red (2010)$89,97116%330-109$273$89,215,46711Summit
8127 Hours$75,0968%103-67$729$10,150,0628Fox Searchlight
9Despicable Me$66,5855%193-40$345$251,032,80525Universal
10Life As We Know It$59,2645%2480$239$52,681,93312Warner Bros.
11Love and Other Drugs$53,5449%144-100$372$31,061,3595Fox
12Fair Game (2010)$31,8587%161-107$198$9,022,2088Summit
13Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$30,6501%158-22$194$55,462,17814Warner Bros.
14Tees Maar Khan$29,854-19%1080$276$922,2291UTV Communications
15Jackass 3D$20,2650%1370$148$117,041,92211Paramount
16Paranormal Activity 2$17,4365%145-29$120$84,603,48810Paramount
17Faster (2010)$16,80521%123-44$137$22,789,4105CBS Films
18Morning Glory (2010)$13,2798%126-137$105$30,713,4177Paramount
19The Next Three Days$10,3750%111-250$93$21,091,9806Lionsgate
20Hereafter$8,9060%128-25$70$32,675,40111Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Dec. 30 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$88,655-16%470$1,886$20,009,71341Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Blue Valentine (2010)$49,9924%4--$12,498$97,8790Weinstein Company
3I Love You Phillip Morris$44,7945%6919$649$929,6584Roadside Attractions
4Rabbit Hole$33,6014%3429$988$293,1292Lionsgate
5Somewhere (2010)$32,5202%8--$4,065$294,2721Focus
6Under the Sea 3D$18,111-37%120$1,509$25,235,42198Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Biutiful$9,7501%2--$4,875$19,3790Roadside Attractions
8The Tempest$8,32341%12-1$694$220,9183Disney
9Country Strong$8,249-11%20$4,125$78,2361Sony / Screen Gems
10The Town$6,9396%62-25$112$92,149,40515Warner Bros.
11Inception$5,20345%28-12$186$292,553,51924Warner Bros.
12For Colored Girls$4,10512%39-40$105$37,665,9588Lionsgate
13Summer Wars$2,94726%2--$1,474$7,4801GKIDS
14The Warrior's Way$1,6119%340$47$5,555,8714Relativity Media
15Winter's Bone$536-14%51$107$6,243,44829Roadside Attractions