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, Jun. 3 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Jun. 3 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1X-Men: First Class$21,398,778--3,641--$5,877$21,398,7781Fox
2The Hangover Part II$10,617,44893%3,6150$2,937$165,044,4082Warner Bros.
3Kung Fu Panda 2$6,400,132112%3,95227$1,619$82,540,5902Paramount / DreamWorks
4Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$5,135,54786%3,966-198$1,295$177,381,8243Disney
5Bridesmaids$3,677,94087%2,919-39$1,260$98,804,2954Universal
6Thor$1,245,86454%2,780-516$448$166,118,7685Paramount
7Fast Five$973,09598%2,237-744$435$199,787,4056Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Jun. 3 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Something Borrowed$285,09131%688-752$414$36,110,4085Warner Bros.
2Jumping the Broom$240,44092%589-350$408$35,302,8315Sony / TriStar
3Water for Elephants$212,60680%572-222$372$55,251,2847Fox
4Rio (2011)$197,19316%691-981$285$136,149,0708Fox
5Priest (2011)$115,168-42%583-1335$198$28,452,3804Sony / Screen Gems
6Source Code$72,538114%288-11$252$53,688,22010Summit
7Rango$68,44691%254-26$269$121,981,90014Paramount
8Soul Surfer$66,20147%245-156$270$41,608,4519Sony / TriStar
9Insidious$55,12786%160-26$345$52,885,50010FilmDistrict
10HOP$48,895118%245-54$200$107,681,55510Universal
11Limitless$46,51779%232-37$201$78,630,87812Relativity Media
12Hanna$44,626107%197-19$227$39,702,6659Focus
13Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$42,08750%196-163$215$52,521,0887Lionsgate
14Everything Must Go$37,50342%107-54$350$2,292,5744Roadside Attractions
15Win Win$31,124108%14117$221$9,772,21912Fox Searchlight
16Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$30,39974%182-32$167$52,230,22711Fox
17The Lincoln Lawyer$30,30584%133-33$228$56,914,89012Lionsgate
18Jane Eyre (2011)$27,88925%128-15$218$10,794,50413Focus
19Scream 4$23,23433%201-60$116$37,987,8118Weinstein Company
20The Conspirator$21,64467%110-27$197$11,263,6518Roadside Attractions

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Jun. 3 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Tree of Life$174,856315%2016$8,743$806,7912Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$68,0363%470$1,448$6,206,8119Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Beginners$38,138--5--$7,628$38,1381Focus
4Hubble 3D$25,452-4%322$795$25,356,74364Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Arthur (2011)$18,170193%62-15$293$32,987,6579Warner Bros.
6The Beaver$14,68532%68-41$216$839,9985Summit
7Submarine$10,194--4--$2,549$10,1941Weinstein Company
8Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil$7,877-2%80-123$98$9,502,9126Weinstein Company
9The Last Mountain$6,116--2--$3,058$6,1161Dada Films
10Beautiful Boy$4,615--4--$1,154$4,6151Anchor Bay Films
11The King's Speech$2,60871%16-2$163$138,784,34128Weinstein Company
12Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$2,292--4--$573$171,69938Collective Eye
13Kill the Irishman$1,00550%8-2$126$1,172,09313Anchor Bay Films
1435 and Ticking$96915%4-2$242$56,4573Image Entertainment
15The Music Never Stopped$44744%50$89$246,14012Roadside Attractions
16Biutiful$314185%2-3$157$5,100,45423Roadside Attractions
17Skateland$1029%31$34$18,2754Freestyle Releasing