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, Jun. 9 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jun. 9 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1X-Men: First Class$4,027,245-5%3,641--$1,106$73,894,3491Fox
2The Hangover Part II$2,841,424-2%3,6150$786$198,060,1322Warner Bros.
3Kung Fu Panda 2$2,783,00615%3,95227$704$110,270,0742Paramount / DreamWorks
4Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$1,923,3744%3,966-198$485$197,927,4943Disney
5Bridesmaids$1,707,6154%2,919-39$585$113,749,5754Universal
6Thor$544,6517%2,780-516$196$171,229,5085Paramount
7Fast Five$357,9207%2,237-744$160$203,366,8756Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jun. 9 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Super 8$1,000,000--324--$3,086$1,000,0000Paramount
2Something Borrowed$124,0796%688-752$180$37,162,1135Warner Bros.
3Rio (2011)$122,91120%691-981$178$137,110,7288Fox
4Water for Elephants$100,7376%572-222$176$56,120,9597Fox
5Jumping the Broom$79,432-4%589-350$135$36,254,6555Sony / TriStar
6Priest (2011)$49,9231%583-1335$86$28,912,7084Sony / Screen Gems
7Rango$41,04716%254-26$162$122,297,90714Paramount
8Source Code$34,769-6%288-11$121$53,988,50610Summit
9HOP$28,1755%245-54$115$107,905,78510Universal
10Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$24,15322%182-32$133$52,384,41311Fox
11Limitless$22,995-3%232-37$99$78,826,12012Relativity Media
12Jane Eyre (2011)$22,66911%128-15$177$10,944,26513Focus
13Hanna$21,613-7%197-19$110$39,898,3319Focus
14Insidious$20,048-21%160-26$125$53,099,20510FilmDistrict
15Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$16,74311%196-163$85$52,689,0277Lionsgate
16Everything Must Go$16,563-8%107-54$155$2,468,9184Roadside Attractions
17Win Win$16,3123%14117$116$9,925,83312Fox Searchlight
18The Lincoln Lawyer$13,008-4%133-33$98$57,049,01612Lionsgate
19Scream 4$12,0120%201-60$60$38,089,8748Weinstein Company
20The Conspirator$11,93112%109-28$109$11,370,3428Roadside Attractions

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jun. 9 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Tree of Life$66,037-9%2016$3,302$1,534,6462Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$64,276-1%470$1,368$6,563,5289Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Hubble 3D$28,28123%322$884$25,510,06764Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Beginners$14,955-17%5--$2,991$210,2701Focus
5The Beaver$6,75511%68-41$99$898,4925Summit
6Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil$5,89336%80-123$74$9,544,1926Weinstein Company
7Arthur (2011)$4,7816%62-15$77$33,035,3979Warner Bros.
8Submarine$4,494-14%4--$1,124$61,9191Weinstein Company
9Beautiful Boy$2,76294%4--$691$24,2241Anchor Bay Films
10The Last Mountain$1,137-37%2--$569$22,2081Dada Films
11The King's Speech$1,11717%180$62$138,792,20628Weinstein Company
1235 and Ticking$70479%4-2$176$60,7003Image Entertainment
13Kill the Irishman$580-15%8-2$73$1,178,89813Anchor Bay Films
14Summer (2011 re-issue)$392--1--$392$3920The Film Desk
15Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$232-74%4--$58$179,01238Collective Eye
16Skateland$152162%31$51$19,4034Freestyle Releasing
17The Music Never Stopped$143-31%50$29$247,93712Roadside Attractions
18Biutiful$66-38%1-4$66$5,101,23723Roadside Attractions