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 Sun, Jan. 2 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Jan. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Little Fockers$6,574,885-43%3,55418$1,850$102,576,1902Universal
2True Grit (2010)$6,379,558-35%3,08336$2,069$86,670,3822Paramount
3TRON: Legacy$5,623,638-31%3,365-86$1,671$131,304,8443Disney
4Yogi Bear$3,597,227-24%3,5150$1,023$65,755,3363Warner Bros.
5Black Swan$3,057,413-21%1,55387$1,969$47,807,7915Fox Searchlight
6The Fighter$2,923,838-34%2,53423$1,154$46,388,8534Paramount
7The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$2,797,495-31%2,948-402$949$86,926,3974Fox
8Tangled$2,780,870-26%2,5820$1,077$167,821,9866Disney
9Gulliver's Travels (2010)$2,559,338-32%3,089543$829$27,454,5062Fox
10The Tourist$1,830,611-35%2,7560$664$54,633,1914Sony / Columbia
11Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$1,431,726-23%1,7320$827$283,533,2157Warner Bros.
12How Do You Know$1,249,768-37%2,4830$503$25,040,8943Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Jan. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The King's Speech$2,285,554-23%7000$3,265$22,932,4016Weinstein Company
2Megamind$181,696-25%7640$238$144,192,0189Paramount / DreamWorks
3Burlesque$145,701-21%3300$442$37,733,5616Sony / Screen Gems
4The Social Network$134,619-36%2490$541$93,222,02614Sony / Columbia
5Unstoppable (2010)$125,441-47%45057$279$79,468,4868Fox
6Due Date$118,753-33%4040$294$99,231,9229Warner Bros.
7127 Hours$100,491-23%103-12$976$10,434,4359Fox Searchlight
8Red (2010)$80,122-38%303-27$264$89,505,18712Summit
9Love and Other Drugs$69,497-29%17531$397$31,267,0886Fox
10Life As We Know It$63,001-34%2480$254$52,886,50813Warner Bros.
11Despicable Me$47,295-35%1974$240$251,203,22526Universal
12Fair Game (2010)$28,030-34%109-52$257$9,118,7569Summit
13Tees Maar Khan$26,720-50%104-4$257$1,030,5022UTV Communications
14Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$25,940-31%1580$164$55,549,82315Warner Bros.
15Jackass 3D$23,656-28%1370$173$117,109,41712Paramount
16Faster (2010)$22,208-36%119-4$187$22,856,8706CBS Films
17Paranormal Activity 2$19,210-34%1450$132$84,660,64811Paramount
18Morning Glory (2010)$13,443-28%1260$107$30,759,9768Paramount
19Hereafter$11,022-36%1280$86$32,712,58612Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Jan. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Blue Valentine (2010)$70,662-12%4--$17,666$291,6071Weinstein Company
2I Love You Phillip Morris$65,542-28%68-1$964$1,126,3015Roadside Attractions
3Rabbit Hole$51,816-14%340$1,524$435,2293Lionsgate
4Somewhere (2010)$46,776-26%81$5,847$432,8362Focus
5Hubble 3D$42,05510%470$895$20,149,82942Warner Bros. / IMAX
6Biutiful$17,758-11%2--$8,879$64,6721Roadside Attractions
7Country Strong$13,114-23%20$6,557$119,7422Sony / Screen Gems
8Under the Sea 3D$12,716-5%120$1,060$25,273,46699Warner Bros. / IMAX
9The Next Three Days$10,842-33%81-30$134$21,129,3487Lionsgate
10The Town$6,838-40%620$110$92,173,23516Warner Bros.
11The Polar Express (2010 re-issue)$5,465-15%15--$364$672,7969Warner Bros.
12Inception$3,639-48%280$130$292,568,85125Warner Bros.
13The Warrior's Way$3,556-44%384$94$5,569,3015Relativity Media
14The Tempest$3,429-25%6-8$572$231,6334Disney
15For Colored Girls$3,184-27%28-11$114$37,676,7749Lionsgate
16Summer Wars$3,020-6%21$1,510$15,6222GKIDS
17Winter's Bone$748-26%2-3$374$6,245,50830Roadside Attractions