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 Fri, Mar. 18 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Mar. 18 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Limitless$6,631,632--2,756--$2,406$6,632,6321Relativity Media
2Battle: Los Angeles$4,483,543122%3,4170$1,312$50,485,2492Sony / Columbia
3Paul$4,469,190--2,802--$1,595$4,469,1901Universal
4Rango$4,229,239107%3,843-80$1,101$81,491,3553Paramount
5The Lincoln Lawyer$4,087,192--2,707--$1,510$4,087,1921Lionsgate
6Red Riding Hood$2,426,750141%3,0300$801$21,134,1332Warner Bros.
7The Adjustment Bureau$1,808,885101%2,660-187$680$44,655,9253Universal
8Mars Needs Moms$1,492,748107%3,1170$479$11,576,5622Disney
9Beastly$1,109,523128%1,810-149$613$20,094,9883CBS Films
10Hall Pass$842,21699%1,905-650$442$37,831,8224Warner Bros. / New Line
11Just Go With It$752,66391%1,708-690$441$96,471,8726Sony / Columbia
12Gnomeo and Juliet$652,51727%1,748-837$373$91,940,8996Disney
13The King's Speech$568,90879%1,249-519$455$131,011,13817Weinstein Company
14Unknown (2011)$408,02028%1,401-902$291$60,223,5725Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Mar. 18 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1I Am Number Four$333,53319%955-1050$349$51,935,3235Disney / DreamWorks
2Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$214,76265%550-381$390$35,914,2305Fox
3Cedar Rapids$148,065115%46268$320$5,101,4206Fox Searchlight
4Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$144,457-21%480-767$301$71,883,3556Paramount
5Yogi Bear$127,00680%43834$290$99,092,02314Warner Bros.
6The Green Hornet$87,068103%282-27$309$97,753,57410Sony / Columbia
7True Grit (2010)$76,185133%268-133$284$169,606,78213Paramount
8The Fighter$65,08053%316-147$206$93,213,12915Paramount
9No Strings Attached$52,951171%232-22$228$70,149,8139Paramount
10Black Swan$52,40517%191-146$274$106,181,85216Fox Searchlight
11Take Me Home Tonight$46,353-67%281-1722$165$6,613,2543Relativity Media
12The Rite$33,801470%202117$167$32,782,2648Warner Bros. / New Line
13The Roommate$25,993--112-101$232$37,250,8787Sony / Screen Gems

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Mar. 18 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Jane Eyre (2011)$127,595678%2622$4,908$380,7002Focus
2Hubble 3D$50,87716%490$1,038$22,740,87653Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Win Win$37,666--5--$7,533$37,6661Fox Searchlight
4Kill the Irishman$36,119373%2116$1,720$228,1202Anchor Bay Films
5Biutiful$25,92850%89-25$291$4,635,03812Roadside Attractions
6The Music Never Stopped$20,093--32--$628$20,0931Roadside Attractions
7Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$19,24367%94-28$205$294,777,45818Warner Bros.
8The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$16,08414%82-41$196$104,189,95915Fox
9The Mechanic$15,080588%9957$152$28,957,9578CBS Films
10The Eagle$14,779119%92-7$161$19,334,2516Focus
11Drive Angry$12,447-69%95-456$131$10,484,0154Summit
12Blue Valentine (2010)$9,15447%43-17$213$9,551,34912Weinstein Company
13The Company Men$9,07279%58-5$156$4,186,7929Weinstein Company
14Gulliver's Travels (2010)$5,315-55%43-56$124$42,695,07213Fox
15happythankyoumoreplease$4,88310%12-7$407$123,7633Anchor Bay Films
16127 Hours$4,854-22%32-47$152$18,270,35520Fox Searchlight
17Season of the Witch$3,765-13%31-23$121$24,814,28711Relativity Media
18Nostalgia for the Light$3,389--1--$3,389$3,3891Icarus Films
19I Love You Phillip Morris$3,094177%11-1$281$1,987,35016Roadside Attractions
20Rabbit Hole$2,772-17%29-9$96$2,177,36414Lionsgate
21From Prada to Nada$2,32178%27-6$86$2,965,6208Lionsgate / Pantelion
22Vidal Sassoon: The Movie$1,61022%52$322$77,5446Phase 4 Films
23The Strange Case of Angelica$500--1--$500$40,40412Cinema Guild
24Winter's Bone$189-67%4-5$47$6,529,72041Roadside Attractions