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, May. 19 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, May. 19 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Bridesmaids$2,859,640-3%2,918--$980$38,459,2401Universal
2Thor$2,200,897-4%3,9638$555$129,906,1552Paramount
3Fast Five$1,270,655-3%3,793131$335$175,588,5853Universal
4Priest (2011)$786,252-11%2,864--$275$19,083,1281Sony / Screen Gems
5Something Borrowed$546,497-6%2,9040$188$28,003,0652Warner Bros.
6Jumping the Broom$418,8189%2,0350$206$27,617,5522Sony / TriStar
7Rio (2011)$416,664-1%2,929-329$142$126,996,6515Fox
8Water for Elephants$381,878-7%2,425-189$157$50,277,5744Fox
9Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$122,8626%1,449-432$85$50,766,9904Lionsgate
10Soul Surfer$113,9748%1,468-313$78$39,680,6706Sony / TriStar
11Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil$65,3245%1,276-1229$51$8,827,6863Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, May. 19 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Source Code$73,2783%626-304$117$52,543,8347Summit
2Insidious$67,2481%762-239$88$51,958,3777FilmDistrict
3Everything Must Go$64,424-14%218--$296$1,099,6201Roadside Attractions
4Hanna$54,670-11%425-323$129$38,862,8706Focus
5Jane Eyre (2011)$49,1455%2480$198$10,155,82910Focus
6The Conspirator$40,480-8%370-87$109$10,666,2865Roadside Attractions
7Limitless$35,467-7%298-81$119$77,727,7449Relativity Media
8The Lincoln Lawyer$32,797-7%345-95$95$56,254,9669Lionsgate
9Win Win$31,429-11%248-20$127$9,074,8209Fox Searchlight
10Scream 4$27,5112%426-907$65$37,626,3985Weinstein Company
11Arthur (2011)$22,874-4%344-11$66$32,669,6206Warner Bros.
12HOP$18,325-11%459-443$40$106,935,0057Universal
13Rango$16,67728%216-61$77$120,816,86311Paramount
14The Beaver$16,571-17%10583$158$391,6432Summit
15Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$12,957-13%311-28$42$51,702,4348Fox
16The Adjustment Bureau$10,660-13%164-51$65$62,344,26511Universal
17Paul$9,9050%181-23$55$37,412,9459Universal
18Go For It!$9,200-11%218--$42$158,2521Lionsgate / Pantelion
19Your Highness$8,8650%148-16$60$21,596,4456Universal
20Sucker Punch$8,4695%139-71$61$36,355,3128Warner Bros.
21Red Riding Hood$4,485-4%100-56$45$37,630,91010Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, May. 19 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$84,1751%57-2$1,477$5,104,4216Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Hubble 3D$34,12814%342$1,004$24,946,19861Warner Bros. / IMAX
3The King's Speech$4,8785%71-19$69$138,732,85625Weinstein Company
4Beastly$2,61710%46-30$57$27,865,57111CBS Films
5No Eres Tu, Soy Yo$2,027-5%5029$41$1,339,9116Lionsgate / Pantelion
6Kill the Irishman$1,392-7%13-10$107$1,141,06710Anchor Bay Films
7Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$1,2120%38-14$32$37,897,60513Fox
8Cedar Rapids$1,17837%12-10$98$6,849,72214Fox Searchlight
9Biutiful$809-10%11-5$74$5,090,37920Roadside Attractions
10Dylan Dog: Dead of Night$688-24%34-430$20$1,186,5383Omni Lab/Freestyle Releasing
11Dum Maaro Dum$662-45%20-13$33$554,7434Fox Searchlight
12Skateland$645-10%2--$323$7,7821Freestyle Releasing
13Miral$449-17%50$90$373,4208Weinstein Company
14The Company Men$427-18%11-24$39$4,441,27217Weinstein Company
15Meet Monica Velour$24832%1--$248$29,1866Anchor Bay Films
16The Music Never Stopped$18920%0-7--$240,1889Roadside Attractions