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, Jan. 6 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jan. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1True Grit (2010)$2,031,9625%3,0830$659$95,430,0222Paramount
2Little Fockers$1,546,985-5%3,5540$435$110,200,5152Universal
3TRON: Legacy$1,338,050-3%3,365-86$398$138,122,4183Disney
4Black Swan$1,253,3122%1,55353$807$53,105,4935Fox Searchlight
5The Fighter$1,002,4941%2,53423$396$50,844,4424Paramount
6The Tourist$609,0512%2,7560$221$57,391,3704Sony / Columbia
7The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$557,996-1%2,948-6$189$89,930,7934Fox
8Tangled$486,309-5%2,5820$188$170,668,3986Disney
9Yogi Bear$481,150-11%3,5150$137$68,795,5213Warner Bros.
10How Do You Know$424,3120%2,4830$171$26,956,7883Sony / Columbia
11Gulliver's Travels (2010)$413,613-5%3,08996$134$29,859,5902Fox
12Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$340,476-6%1,7320$197$285,308,3727Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jan. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The King's Speech$868,3934%7000$1,241$26,482,2586Weinstein Company
2Burlesque$56,467-1%3300$171$37,983,5986Sony / Screen Gems
3Unstoppable (2010)$49,3915%45057$110$79,680,4638Fox
4The Social Network$46,293-3%2490$186$93,424,26114Sony / Columbia
5Due Date$42,5524%4040$105$99,397,2289Warner Bros.
6127 Hours$40,3153%1030$391$10,607,6359Fox Searchlight
7Megamind$34,250-8%7640$45$144,399,5129Paramount / DreamWorks
8Red (2010)$31,8815%303-27$105$89,642,94512Summit
9Love and Other Drugs$28,5762%17531$163$31,393,1446Fox
10Life As We Know It$21,424-3%2480$86$52,981,44213Warner Bros.
11Fair Game (2010)$12,27913%109-52$113$9,169,0659Summit
12Despicable Me$10,835-15%1974$55$251,266,26526Universal
13Jackass 3D$9,380-3%1370$68$117,151,27012Paramount
14Morning Glory (2010)$7,6639%1260$61$30,787,9638Paramount
15Faster (2010)$7,5965%119-4$64$22,889,6016CBS Films
16Paranormal Activity 2$6,363-2%1450$44$84,689,02411Paramount
17Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$5,087-15%1580$32$55,582,39415Warner Bros.
18Hereafter$4,87833%1280$38$32,728,81712Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jan. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Blue Valentine (2010)$35,510-5%40$8,878$440,2451Weinstein Company
2Hubble 3D$27,326-3%470$581$20,269,07542Warner Bros. / IMAX
3I Love You Phillip Morris$21,6671%68-1$319$1,218,2045Roadside Attractions
4Rabbit Hole$18,428-6%340$542$518,0373Lionsgate
5Somewhere (2010)$16,026-7%80$2,003$500,6712Focus
6The Next Three Days$4,5564%81-30$56$21,148,6517Lionsgate
7Country Strong$4,12110%20$2,061$137,2892Sony / Screen Gems
8Under the Sea 3D$3,995-24%120$333$25,299,28599Warner Bros. / IMAX
9The Town$3,0977%620$50$92,186,26216Warner Bros.
10Inception$1,694-6%280$61$292,576,19525Warner Bros.
11The Tempest$1,541-10%6-6$257$237,2544Disney
12The Warrior's Way$1,259-2%384$33$5,575,3245Relativity Media
13For Colored Girls$935-2%28-11$33$37,681,1529Lionsgate
14Winter's Bone$498-35%2-3$249$6,249,62330Roadside Attractions
15Summer Wars$48159%20$241$19,4842GKIDS