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, Sep. 25 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Sep. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Lion King 3D$6,614,597-28%2,3300$2,839$61,475,4022Disney
2Dolphin Tale$5,419,064-37%3,507--$1,545$19,152,4011Warner Bros.
3Moneyball$4,398,610-47%2,993--$1,470$19,501,3021Sony / Columbia
4Abduction$2,422,487-48%3,118--$777$10,925,2531Lionsgate
5Killer Elite$2,246,695-39%2,986--$752$9,352,0081Open Road
6Contagion$1,974,097-49%3,136-86$629$57,007,8983Warner Bros.
7Drive (2011)$1,494,627-38%2,90418$515$21,417,3732FilmDistrict
8The Help$1,148,047-40%2,695-319$426$154,414,1537Disney / DreamWorks
9Straw Dogs (2011)$505,902-41%2,4080$210$8,835,1872Sony / Screen Gems
10I Don't Know How She Does It$464,156-46%2,49014$186$7,968,4652Weinstein Company
11The Debt$305,895-49%1,067-764$287$28,967,0744Focus
12Rise of the Planet of the Apes$300,353-45%1,178-1162$255$173,600,8118Fox
13Warrior (2011)$299,485-36%1,411-472$212$12,210,1263Lionsgate
14Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$253,447-27%1,207-443$210$37,026,8806Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Sep. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Laugh at My Pain$250,983-52%28757$875$5,165,6403CodeBlack Entertainment
2Colombiana$231,272-47%847-1086$273$35,120,1715Sony / TriStar
3Crazy, Stupid, Love$178,866-49%675-470$265$82,068,9269Warner Bros.
4The Smurfs$155,572-40%669-750$233$138,353,8929Sony / Columbia
5Transformers: Dark of the Moon$120,944-32%251-55$482$351,902,62513Paramount / DreamWorks
6Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$115,273-34%320-281$360$378,824,31611Warner Bros.
7Shark Night 3D$107,429-52%637-1445$169$18,223,2384Relativity Media
8Zookeeper$86,022-40%294-54$293$79,630,11212Sony / Columbia
9Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$80,754-50%424-910$190$23,477,2835FilmDistrict
10Captain America: The First Avenger$77,082-45%334-206$231$174,792,96210Paramount
11Cowboys & Aliens$72,450-42%345-269$210$99,276,2669Universal
12Seven Days in Utopia$63,155-31%272-165$232$4,019,8194Visio Entertainment
13Horrible Bosses$61,393-47%313-131$196$116,943,65512Warner Bros. / New Line
14Our Idiot Brother$60,334-46%411-1336$147$24,438,3845Weinstein Company
15Final Destination 5$49,625-34%254-48$195$42,380,5577Warner Bros. / New Line
16Apollo 18$44,291-48%339-1456$131$17,384,9064Weinstein Company
17Bad Teacher$43,079-38%232-242$186$99,685,14314Sony / Columbia
18Sarah's Key$36,164-40%151-115$239$6,592,74710Weinstein Company
19Mr. Popper's Penguins$32,719-36%153-60$214$68,038,54015Fox
20The Change-Up$24,505-48%169-138$145$37,035,8458Universal
21Kung Fu Panda 2$21,694-43%113-29$192$165,230,26118Paramount / DreamWorks
22Bridesmaids$17,205-51%111-59$155$169,076,74520Universal
23Super 8$17,172-52%117-42$147$126,975,16916Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Sep. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$38,616-23%490$788$13,006,06425Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$25,802-26%4829$538$266,8944Indomina Media
330 Minutes or Less$17,066-48%95-196$180$37,053,9247Sony / Columbia
4Machine Gun Preacher$13,572-36%4--$3,393$45,1301Relativity Media
5Saving Private Perez$12,91012%44-72$293$1,391,7704Lionsgate / Pantelion
6Thunder Soul$11,977-38%35--$342$51,2601Roadside Attractions
7The Tree of Life$10,482-18%39-2$269$13,205,30618Fox Searchlight
8Circumstance$9,363-34%29-2$323$310,2515Roadside Attractions
9Monte Carlo$8,444-43%34-12$248$23,179,30313Fox
10Green Lantern$7,057-37%49-54$144$116,593,19115Warner Bros.
11Conan the Barbarian (2011)$5,322-39%56-98$95$21,211,0166Lionsgate
12Attack the Block$2,541-26%17-18$149$1,024,1759Sony / Screen Gems
13The Future$2,496-43%27-2$92$521,0899Roadside Attractions
14The Devil's Double$2,099-35%4823$44$1,357,0429Lionsgate
15Project Nim$1,296-7%181$72$391,55512Roadside Attractions