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. 16 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jun. 16 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Super 8$3,478,2453%3,3793055$1,029$51,530,7891Paramount
2X-Men: First Class$2,386,4243%3,69251$646$108,424,5622Fox
3Kung Fu Panda 2$1,992,0942%3,929-23$507$134,642,7973Paramount / DreamWorks
4The Hangover Part II$1,722,2476%3,67560$469$223,039,2783Warner Bros.
5Bridesmaids$1,431,7809%2,9223$490$129,352,9905Universal
6Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$1,324,2256%3,433-533$386$214,100,2534Disney
7Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer$706,374-4%2,524--$280$8,925,8421Relativity Media
8Thor$348,12313%1,782-998$195$174,966,0026Paramount
9Fast Five$212,6403%1,329-908$160$205,944,7207Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jun. 16 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Rio (2011)$112,580-1%527-164$214$138,207,3919Fox
2Water for Elephants$75,5061%466-106$162$56,886,9928Fox
3Something Borrowed$64,8255%366-322$177$37,875,0546Warner Bros.
4Jumping the Broom$49,17810%365-224$135$36,890,3076Sony / TriStar
5Rango$34,8284%220-34$158$122,603,01815Paramount
6Source Code$28,52815%248-40$115$54,267,85211Summit
7Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil$23,4109%182102$129$9,752,2247Weinstein Company
8HOP$20,90016%190-55$110$108,085,30511Universal
9Limitless$18,79314%166-66$113$79,003,84413Relativity Media
10Insidious$17,509-17%134-26$131$53,309,21211FilmDistrict
11Hanna$17,2545%147-50$117$40,064,12910Focus
12Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$15,4138%117-65$132$52,514,06812Fox
13The Lincoln Lawyer$11,66017%101-32$115$57,174,62413Lionsgate
14Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$9,814-3%112-84$88$52,804,2848Lionsgate
15Win Win$7,972-5%100-41$80$10,033,72113Fox Searchlight

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jun. 16 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Tree of Life$91,3556%4727$1,944$2,736,4323Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$67,76419%470$1,442$7,020,51010Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Hubble 3D$28,88211%31-1$932$25,711,17065Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Beginners$23,670-2%1914$1,246$554,1762Focus
5Jane Eyre (2011)$13,29314%90-38$148$11,054,99514Focus
6Everything Must Go$9,35716%87-20$108$2,569,7375Roadside Attractions
7Submarine$8,36513%1713$492$149,3612Weinstein Company
8The Conspirator$5,7714%66-43$87$11,436,1599Roadside Attractions
9The Last Mountain$5,12724%31$1,709$44,1502Dada Films
10Scream 4$4,92011%80-121$62$38,146,2739Weinstein Company
11The Beaver$2,36531%46-22$51$923,0636Summit
12Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$1,5364%40$384$191,01739Collective Eye
13Beautiful Boy$99012%40$248$33,3072Anchor Bay Films
14The King's Speech$68634%15-3$46$138,797,44929Weinstein Company
1535 and Ticking$488-20%1-3$488$69,4344Image Entertainment
16Kill the Irishman$332-9%5-3$66$1,183,68014Anchor Bay Films
17The Music Never Stopped$6445%2-3$32$248,71813Roadside Attractions