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, Mar. 16 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Mar. 16 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Battle: Los Angeles$2,359,421-21%3,417--$690$43,978,8731Sony / Columbia
2Rango$2,213,605-11%3,9236$564$75,214,0852Paramount
3Red Riding Hood$1,122,418-18%3,030--$370$17,700,0771Warner Bros.
4The Adjustment Bureau$1,053,390-18%2,8477$370$41,949,0552Universal
5Mars Needs Moms$767,729-18%3,117--$246$9,363,0951Disney
6Gnomeo and Juliet$552,632-10%2,585-399$214$90,774,3795Disney
7Hall Pass$547,331-13%2,555-395$214$36,566,3403Warner Bros. / New Line
8Beastly$499,599-18%1,9597$255$18,499,6752CBS Films
9Just Go With It$433,486-14%2,398-522$181$95,325,3865Sony / Columbia
10The King's Speech$362,758-12%1,768-472$205$130,125,19916Weinstein Company
11Unknown (2011)$348,130-14%2,303-610$151$59,497,3864Warner Bros.
12I Am Number Four$284,163-10%2,005-898$142$51,320,9734Disney / DreamWorks
13Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$193,020-14%1,247-1007$155$71,557,0355Paramount
14Take Me Home Tonight$169,398-10%2,0030$85$6,426,5492Relativity Media

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Mar. 16 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$134,393-11%931-711$144$35,569,5134Fox
2Cedar Rapids$91,122-13%394159$231$4,884,3355Fox Searchlight
3Yogi Bear$67,730-23%404138$168$98,894,57813Warner Bros.
4The Fighter$53,736-17%463-112$116$93,105,59814Paramount
5Black Swan$52,491-7%337-344$156$106,084,66215Fox Searchlight
6The Green Hornet$43,225-18%30940$140$97,623,6949Sony / Columbia
7Drive Angry$41,459-4%551-1739$75$10,431,2033Summit
8True Grit (2010)$38,165-8%401-324$95$169,497,96112Paramount
9No Strings Attached$24,605-14%254-171$97$70,077,2958Paramount
10Biutiful$20,313-16%114-31$178$4,583,50611Roadside Attractions
11Little Fockers$14,160-6%177-44$80$148,424,49012Universal
12The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$13,501-1%123-62$110$104,159,81914Fox
13Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$10,961-8%122-86$90$294,746,66617Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Mar. 16 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$45,2031%490$923$22,646,03652Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Jane Eyre (2011)$19,14811%4--$4,787$236,7121Focus
3Kill the Irishman$11,682-8%5--$2,336$184,3611Anchor Bay Films
4Gulliver's Travels (2010)$10,820-9%99-57$109$42,678,03412Fox
5127 Hours$7,551-7%79-56$96$18,259,26019Fox Searchlight
6Blue Valentine (2010)$7,315-5%60-36$122$9,535,98511Weinstein Company
7The Rite$6,367-5%85-116$75$32,742,5347Warner Bros. / New Line
8happythankyoumoreplease$6,117-17%1917$322$113,7692Anchor Bay Films
9The Eagle$6,063-16%99-228$61$19,312,7345Focus
10The Company Men$5,844-10%63-49$93$4,172,6488Weinstein Company
11Rabbit Hole$5,06160%38-17$133$2,171,23913Lionsgate
12Season of the Witch$4,005-4%54-55$74$24,806,18010Relativity Media
13The Mechanic$3,5243%42-67$84$28,940,6847CBS Films
14I Love You Phillip Morris$1,710-3%12-1$143$1,983,32715Roadside Attractions
15From Prada to Nada$1,280-13%33-2$39$2,961,9987Lionsgate / Pantelion
16Vidal Sassoon: The Movie$722-26%51$144$74,7095Phase 4 Films
17Winter's Bone$508-5%9-4$56$6,528,95740Roadside Attractions
18Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie$36088%1--$360$29,48215Argot Pictures