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 Wed, Oct. 5 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Oct. 5 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Moneyball$953,698-10%2,9930$319$40,867,5922Sony / Columbia
250/50$754,492-20%2,458--$307$11,087,4641Summit
3Dolphin Tale$652,271-17%3,5158$186$39,231,1712Warner Bros.
4The Lion King 3D$500,218-20%2,34010$214$80,908,3553Disney
5Courageous$467,011-22%1,161--$402$10,730,9091Sony / TriStar
6Killer Elite$452,120-25%2,9860$151$19,008,3872Open Road
7What's Your Number?$425,212-26%3,002--$142$6,841,0561Fox
8Dream House$412,465-26%2,661--$155$9,579,6101Universal
9Contagion$363,097-16%2,744-392$132$65,718,0644Warner Bros.
10The Help$332,020-9%2,505541$133$160,358,2588Disney / DreamWorks
11Abduction$308,424-27%3,1180$99$20,148,8792Lionsgate
12Drive (2011)$304,276-16%1,974-930$154$27,959,4153FilmDistrict

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Oct. 5 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Debt$62,601-9%603-464$104$30,259,2525Focus
2Laugh at My Pain$47,570-16%274-13$174$6,412,4184CodeBlack Entertainment
3Warrior (2011)$41,675-9%707-704$59$13,211,6314Lionsgate
4I Don't Know How She Does It$41,391-8%745-1745$56$9,341,1673Weinstein Company
5Crazy, Stupid, Love$39,477-7%405-270$97$82,877,28810Warner Bros.
6Straw Dogs (2011)$39,244-16%874-1534$45$10,196,1873Sony / Screen Gems
7Rise of the Planet of the Apes$39,170-7%591-587$66$174,601,0799Fox
8Captain America: The First Avenger$38,374-15%35016$110$175,453,01111Paramount
9Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$24,335-2%252-68$97$379,317,92012Warner Bros.
10Cowboys & Aliens$16,870-6%241-104$70$99,603,13110Universal
11Horrible Bosses$16,013-5%222-91$72$117,271,51513Warner Bros. / New Line
12Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$14,579-8%710-497$21$37,589,3087Weinstein Company
13Sarah's Key$14,0352%139-12$101$6,809,42411Weinstein Company
14Transformers: Dark of the Moon$13,084-7%208-43$63$352,262,44314Paramount / DreamWorks
15Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$11,49613%216-208$53$23,739,6166FilmDistrict
16Seven Days in Utopia$9,3007%135--$69$4,225,8635Visio Entertainment
17Shark Night 3D$8,822-14%292-345$30$18,519,9015Relativity Media
18Our Idiot Brother$6,505-14%136-275$48$24,623,1196Weinstein Company
19Conan the Barbarian (2011)$5,803-12%11559$50$21,289,1627Lionsgate
20Final Destination 5$5,456-16%144-110$38$42,538,7798Warner Bros. / New Line
21Apollo 18$4,5298%114-225$40$17,498,8935Weinstein Company
22Mr. Popper's Penguins$2,818-20%103-50$27$68,141,07316Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Oct. 5 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$12,99615%490$265$13,218,03726Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Machine Gun Preacher$9,4869%3329$287$169,9472Relativity Media
3Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$5,3561%34-14$158$370,9325Indomina Media
4Circumstance$2,52921%23-6$110$352,8606Roadside Attractions
5Munger Road$1,692-26%1--$1,692$42,8401Freestyle Releasing
6The Future$1,48540%16-11$93$539,68110Roadside Attractions
7Margaret$1,12611%2--$563$10,6331Fox Searchlight
8Thunder Soul$979-37%13-22$75$84,9542Roadside Attractions
9Sarah Palin: You Betcha!$762-5%6--$127$8,9951Freestyle Releasing
10Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster$63046%9--$70$11,0381UTV Communications
11Muran$420-69%10--$42$19,2401UTV Communications
12Project Nim$30419%7-11$43$398,54813Roadside Attractions