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 Tue, Sep. 27 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Sep. 27 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Moneyball$1,813,90125%2,993--$606$22,761,0921Sony / Columbia
2The Lion King 3D$1,743,36118%2,3300$748$64,697,4022Disney
3Killer Elite$979,66426%2,986--$328$11,106,6721Open Road
4Dolphin Tale$879,06318%3,507--$251$20,775,7951Warner Bros.
5Abduction$732,21730%3,118--$235$12,222,0121Lionsgate
6Contagion$721,04824%3,136-86$230$58,312,0503Warner Bros.
7Drive (2011)$668,94834%2,90418$230$22,585,3032FilmDistrict
8The Help$510,26024%2,695-319$189$155,336,6217Disney / DreamWorks
9I Don't Know How She Does It$247,98552%2,49014$100$8,379,9242Weinstein Company
10Straw Dogs (2011)$234,82530%2,4080$98$9,251,0812Sony / Screen Gems
11The Debt$130,12826%1,067-764$122$29,200,8594Focus
12Warrior (2011)$104,1408%1,411-472$74$12,410,9163Lionsgate
13Rise of the Planet of the Apes$86,38310%1,178-1162$73$173,765,4858Fox
14Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$23,9081%1,207-443$20$37,074,3606Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Sep. 27 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Laugh at My Pain$90,0206%28757$314$5,340,7453CodeBlack Entertainment
2Colombiana$83,93923%847-1086$99$35,272,5285Sony / TriStar
3Crazy, Stupid, Love$79,88633%675-470$118$82,208,9529Warner Bros.
4Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$36,0114%320-281$113$378,894,90911Warner Bros.
5Shark Night 3D$33,08520%637-1445$52$18,283,9684Relativity Media
6Transformers: Dark of the Moon$31,1628%251-55$124$351,962,68113Paramount / DreamWorks
7Horrible Bosses$28,86918%313-131$92$116,997,08212Warner Bros. / New Line
8Our Idiot Brother$28,80230%411-1336$70$24,489,4185Weinstein Company
9The Smurfs$27,99011%669-750$42$138,407,0749Sony / Columbia
10Captain America: The First Avenger$27,10816%334-206$81$174,843,53610Paramount
11Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$25,2625%424-910$60$23,526,6965FilmDistrict
12Cowboys & Aliens$24,07516%345-269$70$99,321,0419Universal
13Final Destination 5$18,56815%254-48$73$42,415,3057Warner Bros. / New Line
14Sarah's Key$16,2359%151-115$108$6,623,83110Weinstein Company
15The Change-Up$13,52045%169-138$80$37,058,6608Universal
16Apollo 18$12,143-1%339-1456$36$17,409,3124Weinstein Company
17Bridesmaids$8,88045%111-59$80$169,091,73020Universal
18Super 8$7,18213%117-42$61$126,988,68216Paramount
19Mr. Popper's Penguins$5,437-9%153-60$36$68,049,96615Fox
20Kung Fu Panda 2$4,308-14%113-29$38$165,239,57218Paramount / DreamWorks

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Sep. 27 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$12,7020%490$259$13,031,47125Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$8,9858%4829$187$284,0384Indomina Media
3The Tree of Life$6,84234%39-2$175$13,217,26318Fox Searchlight
4Thunder Soul$3,2850%35--$94$57,8161Roadside Attractions
5Machine Gun Preacher$3,2106%4--$803$51,3701Relativity Media
6Circumstance$3,1402%29-2$108$316,4625Roadside Attractions
7Conan the Barbarian (2011)$2,80751%56-98$50$21,215,6826Lionsgate
8Green Lantern$2,14711%49-54$44$116,597,27315Warner Bros.
9Saving Private Perez$2,086-7%44-72$47$1,396,0904Lionsgate / Pantelion
10The Future$1,80117%27-2$67$524,4309Roadside Attractions
11Monte Carlo$1,783-5%34-12$52$23,182,96113Fox
12The Devil's Double$1,42845%4823$30$1,359,4549Lionsgate
13Project Nim$994102%181$55$393,04112Roadside Attractions