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 Sun, Aug. 14 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Aug. 14 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Rise of the Planet of the Apes$8,796,455-20%3,69143$2,383$105,208,2262Fox
2The Help$8,403,095-16%2,534--$3,316$35,918,4161Disney / DreamWorks
3The Smurfs$4,654,044-12%3,42732$1,358$101,778,7413Sony / Columbia
4Final Destination 5$4,415,869-30%3,155--$1,400$18,031,3961Warner Bros. / New Line
530 Minutes or Less$3,984,166-11%2,888--$1,380$13,330,1181Sony / Columbia
6Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$2,629,305-5%2,414-761$1,089$357,337,3555Warner Bros.
7Cowboys & Aliens$2,432,555-23%3,310-444$735$81,674,0153Universal
8Captain America: The First Avenger$2,275,642-21%2,835-785$803$156,971,1084Paramount
9Crazy, Stupid, Love$2,177,995-20%2,635-385$827$55,526,5243Warner Bros.
10The Change-Up$1,893,450-24%2,9130$650$25,838,8502Universal
11Glee: The 3D Concert Movie$1,510,912-12%2,040--$741$5,961,2311Fox
12Horrible Bosses$728,830-27%1,338-687$545$110,003,1446Warner Bros. / New Line
13Friends With Benefits$545,913-24%1,294-1104$422$53,079,3374Sony / Screen Gems

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Aug. 14 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Transformers: Dark of the Moon$424,979-26%886-968$480$347,268,8007Paramount / DreamWorks
2Zookeeper$281,366-31%748-976$376$75,800,6906Sony / Columbia
3Cars 2$239,951-7%494-432$486$186,196,5578Disney
4Sarah's Key$173,779-15%10134$1,721$2,024,0254Weinstein Company
5Green Lantern$127,861-20%242134$528$115,037,1449Warner Bros.
6Mr. Popper's Penguins$113,483-26%294-33$386$66,094,2919Fox
7Kung Fu Panda 2$111,686-20%252-38$443$163,433,62712Paramount / DreamWorks
8Bridesmaids$104,025-30%285-89$365$167,169,89514Universal
9The Hangover Part II$54,523-26%232-71$235$253,941,29212Warner Bros.
10The Tree of Life$53,455-18%118-52$453$12,472,58512Fox Searchlight
11X-Men: First Class$52,406-32%183-53$286$145,688,54611Fox
12Beginners$35,921-13%103-23$349$5,526,44611Focus
13Super 8$33,887-23%108-66$314$125,520,06110Paramount
14Bad Teacher$33,724-62%149-201$226$97,901,4218Sony / Columbia
15Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$30,309-2%104-12$291$1,195,8675Fox Searchlight
16Larry Crowne$25,730-34%166-63$155$35,565,9757Universal
17Monte Carlo$24,841-28%124-17$200$22,689,4887Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Aug. 14 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Aarakshan$97,231-29%91--$1,068$342,8011Reliance Big Pictures
2The Devil's Double$90,687-6%8956$1,019$698,7943Lionsgate
3Born to Be Wild 3D$81,0851%490$1,655$11,310,34519Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Another Earth$63,8467%8227$779$699,0594Fox Searchlight
5Attack the Block$37,741-5%4032$944$454,0873Sony / Screen Gems
6Rio (2011)$21,860-24%99-40$221$143,478,28018Fox
7The Future$20,571-20%202$1,029$234,5523Roadside Attractions
8Thor$16,320-28%81-60$201$180,952,82815Paramount
9Project Nim$7,194-17%18-3$400$307,6216Roadside Attractions
10A Better Life$5,885-8%51-23$115$1,697,9738Summit
11Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer$4,90020%55-33$89$15,000,99410Relativity Media
12Insidious$1,733-18%13-13$133$53,977,93820FilmDistrict
13The Last Mountain$1,51323%52$303$120,10711Dada Films
14Submarine$807-47%7-3$115$466,70211Weinstein Company
1535 and Ticking$718-53%50$144$113,88813Image Entertainment
16Everything Must Go$307-28%3-5$102$2,702,54214Roadside Attractions
17The Conspirator$226-20%20$113$11,533,40918Roadside Attractions
18Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$40-93%31$13$236,60748Collective Eye