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, Aug. 4 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Aug. 4 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Smurfs$4,092,559-15%3,395--$1,205$55,201,8311Sony / Columbia
2Cowboys & Aliens$3,150,225-10%3,750--$840$51,620,0651Universal
3Captain America: The First Avenger$2,714,393-9%3,7150$731$130,182,0452Paramount
4Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$2,615,328-9%4,145-230$631$330,641,0143Warner Bros.
5Crazy, Stupid, Love$2,411,526-13%3,020--$799$30,085,1061Warner Bros.
6Friends With Benefits$1,180,022-16%2,9260$403$43,838,4042Sony / Screen Gems
7Horrible Bosses$942,590-12%2,510-594$376$100,542,1634Warner Bros. / New Line
8Transformers: Dark of the Moon$722,502-3%2,604-771$277$341,158,3415Paramount / DreamWorks
9Zookeeper$622,187-10%2,418-797$257$71,444,7644Sony / Columbia
10Cars 2$348,978-7%1,763-905$198$183,584,4946Disney
11Winnie the Pooh$281,274-12%1,632-773$172$23,633,8463Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Aug. 4 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Bridesmaids$120,980-4%484-196$250$165,943,66512Universal
2Kung Fu Panda 2$114,320-9%31969$358$162,195,61810Paramount / DreamWorks
3Bad Teacher$102,833-6%765-1269$134$97,172,1426Sony / Columbia
4Mr. Popper's Penguins$101,464-11%412-179$246$65,019,8587Fox
5The Hangover Part II$61,304-9%34671$177$253,296,00410Warner Bros.
6The Tree of Life$54,356-1%196-34$277$11,903,16410Fox Searchlight
7X-Men: First Class$46,745-7%254-41$184$144,922,7839Fox
8Rio (2011)$41,101-5%174-36$236$143,184,44416Fox
9Super 8$40,368-4%325-333$124$125,146,7508Paramount
10Larry Crowne$33,6401%335-700$100$35,237,0405Universal
11Thor$33,3341%190-46$175$180,716,54713Paramount
12Beginners$31,2910%147-10$213$5,160,9199Focus
13Green Lantern$29,5823%135-286$219$114,460,0927Warner Bros.
14Monte Carlo$25,055-15%168-192$149$22,387,5255Fox
15Fast Five$15,62514%125-49$125$209,746,95014Universal
16Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer$12,592-12%161-29$78$14,931,0568Relativity Media
17A Better Life$9,3290%108-74$86$1,623,3596Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Aug. 4 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$71,899-17%491$1,467$10,569,85217Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Sarah's Key$49,393-5%3328$1,497$732,0082Weinstein Company
3Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$29,699-11%9332$319$837,5393Fox Searchlight
4Attack the Block$18,070-5%8--$2,259$218,0901Sony / Screen Gems
5Another Earth$14,582-5%2016$729$282,2212Fox Searchlight
6The Devil's Double$11,1570%5--$2,231$143,7151Lionsgate
7Water for Elephants$5,5252%41-50$135$58,684,81915Fox
8Project Nim$4,6214%212$220$246,6234Roadside Attractions
9The Future$4,223-10%1--$4,223$44,4301Roadside Attractions
10Insidious$2,8754%41-18$70$53,954,72918FilmDistrict
11Submarine$2,0898%191$110$456,4139Weinstein Company
12Delhi Belly$665-19%7-18$95$1,527,1905UTV Communications
13Everything Must Go$59715%8-1$75$2,696,69812Roadside Attractions
14The Last Mountain$87-59%2--$44$112,6819Dada Films
15Daylight (2011)$4410%0----$2,8043Cinema Purgatorio
16The Music Never Stopped$36-28%2-2$18$256,90320Roadside Attractions
1735 and Ticking$24-77%2-1$12$95,10011Image Entertainment