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 Mon, May. 2 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, May. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Fast Five$6,231,240-71%3,644--$1,710$92,430,0051Universal
2Water for Elephants$784,100-67%2,8203$278$33,264,3142Fox
3Rio (2011)$688,540-85%3,708-134$186$104,703,3913Fox
4Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$544,934-76%2,2880$238$41,435,9772Lionsgate
5African Cats$211,655-65%1,2244$173$10,880,4842Disneynature
6Hanna$203,138-67%1,569-815$129$36,156,6084Focus
7Source Code$182,426-69%1,645-718$111$49,069,6145Summit
8Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil$175,184-86%2,505--$70$4,283,8141Weinstein Company
9Scream 4$174,858-65%2,221-1093$79$35,671,0583Weinstein Company
10Insidious$167,510-70%1,584-546$106$48,477,4225FilmDistrict
11Soul Surfer$166,053-81%2,010-230$83$34,009,0724Sony / TriStar
12Prom$155,025-83%2,730--$57$4,867,6631Disney
13HOP$111,160-85%3,176-440$35$105,514,4455Universal
14Arthur (2011)$84,349-66%1,251-1519$67$31,755,9714Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, May. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Limitless$94,335-65%838-525$113$76,184,6517Relativity Media
2The Conspirator$90,272-70%695-154$130$8,855,0973Roadside Attractions
3Dylan Dog: Dead of Night$63,450-68%875--$73$818,2291Omni Lab/Freestyle Releasing
4The Lincoln Lawyer$62,490-69%719-501$87$54,862,0007Lionsgate
5Jane Eyre (2011)$56,560-61%294-25$192$8,796,3278Focus
6Win Win$43,836-72%302-86$145$7,655,5667Fox Searchlight
7Your Highness$36,180-70%402-1208$90$21,138,2504Universal
8The Adjustment Bureau$20,775-68%27714$75$61,703,6609Universal
9Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$18,396-82%503-425$37$51,020,2096Fox
10Paul$16,775-71%224-21$75$36,959,7857Universal
11Rango$15,009-76%277-280$54$119,946,7299Paramount
12Beastly$11,406-51%126-11$91$27,742,5389CBS Films
13Red Riding Hood$11,231-69%209-99$54$37,406,4728Warner Bros.
14The King's Speech$11,053-60%185-49$60$138,548,26423Weinstein Company
15Hall Pass$6,404-60%116-86$55$44,992,42910Warner Bros. / New Line
16Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$4,976-73%109-57$46$72,950,00512Paramount
17Unknown (2011)$3,941-63%101-61$39$63,644,29811Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, May. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$39,977-54%69-139$579$3,786,7634Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Hubble 3D$15,733-35%320$492$24,473,38559Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Sucker Punch$6,244-59%74-170$84$36,068,3096Warner Bros.
4Dum Maaro Dum$5,418-75%93-8$58$489,4062Fox Searchlight
5Kill the Irishman$4,364-63%307$145$1,068,8658Anchor Bay Films
6Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$2,871-77%69-23$42$37,817,29911Fox
7No Eres Tu, Soy Yo$2,670-81%45-44$59$1,277,8164Lionsgate / Pantelion
8Biutiful$1,711-33%221$78$5,057,80918Roadside Attractions
9Cedar Rapids$1,373-57%26-10$53$6,801,80012Fox Searchlight
10The Company Men$828-62%150$55$4,413,93615Weinstein Company
11Sympathy For Delicious$720-78%2--$360$10,1681Maya Entertainment
12Miral$706-60%10-10$71$360,9436Weinstein Company
13Meet Monica Velour$364-73%21$182$24,1974Anchor Bay Films
14Thank You$166-81%7--$24$462,7754UTV Communications
15The Music Never Stopped$107106%4-2$27$234,8077Roadside Attractions