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 Fri, Oct. 14 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Oct. 14 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Footloose (2011)$5,432,058--3,549--$1,531$5,432,0581Paramount
2Real Steel$4,518,633207%3,4400$1,314$39,958,4342Disney / DreamWorks
3The Thing (2011)$3,250,660--2,996--$1,085$3,250,6601Universal
4The Ides of March$2,267,461149%2,1990$1,031$16,921,8502Sony / Columbia
5Moneyball$1,718,563163%2,840-178$605$53,930,8214Sony / Columbia
6Dolphin Tale$1,683,409207%3,286-192$512$54,010,3904Warner Bros.
750/50$1,371,001139%2,391-88$573$21,390,0663Summit
8The Big Year$1,151,215--2,150--$535$1,151,2151Fox
9Courageous$1,021,721129%1,21453$842$18,999,3113Sony / TriStar
10Dream House$749,340134%2,172-492$345$16,668,7103Universal
11The Lion King 3D$720,669120%1,970-297$366$88,464,5845Disney
12Contagion$556,571109%1,684-566$331$70,744,8846Warner Bros.
13Abduction$420,253111%1,707-884$246$24,771,7444Lionsgate
14What's Your Number?$374,45017%1,282-1729$292$12,180,2173Fox
15The Help$356,86233%1,267-797$282$164,075,15010Disney / DreamWorks
16Killer Elite$303,61327%1,431-980$212$23,036,1174Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Oct. 14 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Drive (2011)$338,64175%703-627$482$31,335,9475FilmDistrict
2The Smurfs$117,729--370-145$318$139,715,01012Sony / Columbia
3Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$81,76172%330-77$248$380,032,61314Warner Bros.
4Laugh at My Pain$81,324145%188-60$433$7,171,2286CodeBlack Entertainment
5Captain America: The First Avenger$70,372121%246-57$286$176,010,90513Paramount
6Rise of the Planet of the Apes$70,021121%273-109$256$175,138,47211Fox
7Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$45,654383%311-54$147$37,880,6169Weinstein Company
8The Debt$45,06534%200-158$225$30,748,4707Focus
9Crazy, Stupid, Love$44,102109%162-60$272$83,257,31012Warner Bros.
10Cowboys & Aliens$42,640218%2082$205$99,871,08612Universal
11Zookeeper$31,385--155-43$202$80,203,24715Sony / Columbia
12Colombiana$28,124--132-113$213$36,317,9268Sony / TriStar
13Warrior (2011)$19,4524%135-184$144$13,523,5596Lionsgate
14I Don't Know How She Does It$10,709-10%107-133$100$9,547,0365Weinstein Company
15Shark Night 3D$10,139182%115-30$88$18,626,0437Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Oct. 14 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$30,301--490$618$13,439,08128Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Munger Road$21,049652%3223$658$133,0703Freestyle Releasing
3Labios Rojos$20,952--67--$313$20,9521Lionsgate / Pantelion
4Horrible Bosses$18,90787%85-57$222$117,449,89415Warner Bros. / New Line
5Machine Gun Preacher$17,21413%43-50$400$373,3604Relativity Media
6Sarah's Key$13,1532%86-27$153$6,941,71813Weinstein Company
7Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$11,446125%80-34$143$23,854,8148FilmDistrict
8Seven Days in Utopia$6,51217%41-36$159$4,319,9667Visio Entertainment
9Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$6,23358%22-5$283$431,3697Indomina Media
10Our Idiot Brother$6,007120%41-26$147$24,678,7198Weinstein Company
11Apollo 18$5,588203%18-28$310$17,532,6297Weinstein Company
12Circumstance$5,58788%191$294$389,2328Roadside Attractions
13Texas Killing Fields$2,999--3--$1,000$2,9991Anchor Bay Films
14Dirty Girl$2,5512%101$255$31,5582Weinstein Company
15Thunder Soul$2,011-29%12-25$168$134,6164Roadside Attractions
16The Future$1,859204%161$116$548,90112Roadside Attractions
17Margaret$1,018-70%6-8$170$37,1993Fox Searchlight
18Project Nim$28-88%3-3$9$399,67015Roadside Attractions