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. 18 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Aug. 18 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Help$3,569,4770%2,53423$1,409$51,322,1701Disney / DreamWorks
2Rise of the Planet of the Apes$2,508,796-4%3,69143$680$117,464,3602Fox
3The Smurfs$1,588,988-1%3,42732$464$109,744,5053Sony / Columbia
4Final Destination 5$1,287,451-9%3,155--$408$24,623,2201Warner Bros. / New Line
530 Minutes or Less$1,145,763-11%2,888--$397$19,461,8281Sony / Columbia
6Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$931,2240%2,414-761$386$361,496,4895Warner Bros.
7Crazy, Stupid, Love$861,187-2%2,635-385$327$59,469,6053Warner Bros.
8Cowboys & Aliens$827,5004%3,310-444$250$85,282,5253Universal
9Captain America: The First Avenger$810,0840%2,835-785$286$160,632,1144Paramount
10The Change-Up$713,685-2%2,9130$245$29,145,3402Universal
11Glee: The 3D Concert Movie$509,003-6%2,040--$250$8,639,2851Fox
12Horrible Bosses$296,156-3%1,338-687$221$111,295,6466Warner Bros. / New Line
13Friends With Benefits$239,868-5%1,294-946$185$54,178,4754Sony / Screen Gems

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Aug. 18 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Transformers: Dark of the Moon$156,9453%886-968$177$347,933,7307Paramount / DreamWorks
2Zookeeper$122,7500%748-710$164$76,366,3046Sony / Columbia
3Cars 2$93,63612%494-279$190$186,603,2398Disney
4Sarah's Key$67,7747%10134$671$2,302,8354Weinstein Company
5Mr. Popper's Penguins$54,867-3%294-33$187$66,324,6629Fox
6Kung Fu Panda 2$51,358-1%252-38$204$163,658,37712Paramount / DreamWorks
7Bridesmaids$51,2500%285-89$180$167,380,71514Universal
8Green Lantern$50,168-2%242134$207$115,265,7609Warner Bros.
9X-Men: First Class$27,734-2%183-52$152$145,808,13411Fox
10The Tree of Life$27,23721%118-52$231$12,574,08612Fox Searchlight
11Bad Teacher$25,8431%149-165$173$98,002,2368Sony / Columbia
12The Hangover Part II$23,647-3%232-71$102$254,042,97612Warner Bros.
13Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$18,76526%104-12$180$1,263,1765Fox Searchlight
14Super 8$16,440-4%108-66$152$125,589,77310Paramount
15Beginners$14,52411%103-23$141$5,584,20811Focus
16Monte Carlo$12,112-4%124-17$98$22,743,2367Fox
17Larry Crowne$10,7500%166-63$65$35,608,2457Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Aug. 18 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$59,921-6%490$1,223$11,567,77819Warner Bros. / IMAX
2The Devil's Double$34,020-5%8956$382$852,8283Lionsgate
3Another Earth$23,2035%8227$283$792,7964Fox Searchlight
4Aarakshan$15,256-38%91--$168$440,7101Reliance Big Pictures
5Attack the Block$15,134-10%4032$378$520,9423Sony / Screen Gems
6Rio (2011)$9,6783%99-40$98$143,520,15718Fox
7The Future$8,7557%202$438$271,8103Roadside Attractions
8Thor$7,335-6%81-60$91$180,984,40815Paramount
9Project Nim$4,01823%18-3$223$322,6126Roadside Attractions
10A Better Life$2,9579%51-23$58$1,709,2938Summit
11Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer$1,62610%55-33$30$15,013,65010Relativity Media
12Insidious$59137%13-13$45$53,980,20620FilmDistrict
13The Last Mountain$462-19%5--$92$122,95911Dada Films
14Submarine$18139%7-3$26$467,60211Weinstein Company
15The Conspirator$16939%20$85$11,533,98818Roadside Attractions
16Everything Must Go$124-48%3-5$41$2,703,31714Roadside Attractions
17Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$40--1-2$40$236,64748Collective Eye