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, Apr. 17 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Apr. 17 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Rio (2011)$11,413,055-35%3,827--$2,982$39,225,9621Fox
2Scream 4$3,770,698-44%3,305--$1,141$18,692,0901Weinstein Company
3HOP$3,192,050-39%3,608-8$885$82,157,6053Universal
4Hanna$1,978,123-38%2,54510$777$23,282,8582Focus
5Soul Surfer$1,854,474-43%2,2140$838$19,865,1292Sony / TriStar
6Arthur (2011)$1,621,145-46%3,2760$495$22,163,7572Warner Bros.
7Source Code$1,508,811-47%2,557-414$590$36,898,5803Summit
8Insidious$1,493,165-49%2,233-186$669$35,870,8913FilmDistrict
9Your Highness$1,095,905-35%2,7723$395$16,077,4752Universal
10Limitless$904,723-46%1,885-770$480$69,589,3225Relativity Media
11The Lincoln Lawyer$676,251-52%1,702-718$397$50,454,6405Lionsgate
12Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$555,126-47%1,849-1032$300$48,122,7734Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Apr. 17 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Conspirator$832,086-47%707--$1,177$3,506,6021Roadside Attractions
2Win Win$303,820-53%384158$791$5,033,5675Fox Searchlight
3Jane Eyre (2011)$274,796-39%27427$1,003$6,605,0356Focus
4Rango$211,398-37%976-1031$217$118,775,7317Paramount
5Born to Be Wild 3D$209,620-22%2071$1,013$1,847,7262Warner Bros. / IMAX
6Sucker Punch$165,462-37%555-1200$298$35,292,2864Warner Bros.
7Battle: Los Angeles$133,558-43%554-854$241$82,193,2666Sony / Columbia
8Paul$123,280-45%536-1131$230$36,104,5005Universal
9No Eres Tu, Soy Yo$104,89621%189-37$555$988,1302Lionsgate / Pantelion
10The Adjustment Bureau$78,285-55%348-435$225$60,735,1457Universal
11Just Go With It$66,597-47%3266$204$102,271,33110Sony / Columbia
12The King's Speech$59,453-50%315-360$189$137,993,20721Weinstein Company
13Hall Pass$56,443-45%333-33$169$44,630,7188Warner Bros. / New Line
14Unknown (2011)$41,197-47%275-90$150$63,379,8859Warner Bros.
15Red Riding Hood$28,304-53%248-529$114$36,942,4326Warner Bros.
16Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$23,709-42%128-56$185$37,615,1519Fox
17True Grit (2010)$22,176-56%177-86$125$170,938,57517Paramount
18Beastly$17,066-46%110-229$155$27,473,3357CBS Films

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Apr. 17 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$33,842-18%321$1,058$23,841,64957Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Thank You$26,519-31%71-21$374$392,1942UTV Communications
3Kill the Irishman$16,232-47%39-13$416$939,9196Anchor Bay Films
4The Green Hornet$13,679-46%95-66$144$98,780,04214Sony / Columbia
5Miral$10,288-33%26-3$396$304,9374Weinstein Company
6Cedar Rapids$8,763-55%47-71$186$6,732,13610Fox Searchlight
7Biutiful$7,121-25%32-6$223$5,012,58316Roadside Attractions
8Drive Angry$7,024-36%71-55$99$10,706,7868Summit
9Black Swan$4,605-51%49-54$94$106,928,99820Fox Searchlight
10Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$3,875-51%35-34$111$72,772,10610Paramount
11The Company Men$3,581-49%20-12$179$4,384,06513Weinstein Company
12Take Me Home Tonight$1,785-30%42-60$43$6,923,8917Relativity Media
13The Music Never Stopped$1,738-42%13-1$134$227,9105Roadside Attractions
14Blue Valentine (2010)$1,525-24%15-4$102$9,701,55916Weinstein Company
15Meet Monica Velour$1,404-21%42$351$14,6092Anchor Bay Films
16happythankyoumoreplease$736-42%4-5$184$212,0177Anchor Bay Films
17The Last Godfather$332-47%1-19$332$163,5913Roadside Attractions
18Winter's Bone$24-73%20$12$6,531,49145Roadside Attractions