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, Oct. 25 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Oct. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Paranormal Activity 3$2,868,7650%3,321--$864$58,319,0481Paramount
2The Three Musketeers (2011)$843,96828%3,017--$280$10,177,6821Summit
3Footloose (2011)$768,45432%3,5556$216$31,716,9712Paramount
4Real Steel$674,37612%3,412-28$198$68,011,1173Disney / DreamWorks
5The Ides of March$490,75538%2,042-157$240$29,959,2153Sony / Columbia
6Moneyball$394,85741%2,353-487$168$64,314,8875Sony / Columbia
7The Thing (2011)$329,45016%2,995-1$110$14,663,1952Universal
850/50$322,06831%1,932-459$167$29,389,0014Summit
9Johnny English Reborn$310,02548%1,552--$200$4,352,9001Universal
10Dolphin Tale$233,2631%2,828-458$82$64,872,5695Warner Bros.
11Courageous$227,13612%1,195-19$190$25,404,6904Sony / TriStar
12The Big Year$174,28633%2,1500$81$6,305,7322Fox
13The Lion King 3D$84,357-1%1,091-879$77$92,777,9456Disney
14Dream House$67,32010%1,224-948$55$20,308,3554Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Oct. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Mighty Macs$86,87334%975--$89$1,114,7191Quaker Media
2The Help$84,30323%776-491$109$166,343,05611Disney / DreamWorks
3Contagion$75,2109%901-783$83$73,618,5017Warner Bros.
4Drive (2011)$75,07915%367-336$205$33,329,4976FilmDistrict
5The Way$61,82215%283--$218$1,125,6523Producers Distribution Agency
6Killer Elite$53,40133%751-680$71$24,714,1365Open Road
7Abduction$46,88216%753-954$62$26,879,8195Lionsgate
8What's Your Number?$38,58744%343-939$112$13,756,5214Fox
9Crazy, Stupid, Love$30,44831%308146$99$83,698,18213Warner Bros.
10Rise of the Planet of the Apes$22,08316%249-24$89$175,672,33312Fox
11Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$16,0747%240-90$67$380,562,47815Warner Bros.
12Captain America: The First Avenger$13,65317%184-62$74$176,448,71814Paramount
13The Debt$12,29845%119-81$103$31,073,3968Focus
14Cowboys & Aliens$9,82525%131-77$75$100,135,64113Universal
15Laugh at My Pain$9,6646%103-85$94$7,576,3177CodeBlack Entertainment
16Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$5,3310%178-133$30$38,208,45510Weinstein Company
17Shark Night 3D$4,766-13%102-13$47$18,742,5668Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Oct. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Margin Call$52,1778%56--$932$662,3161Roadside Attractions
2Martha Marcy May Marlene$15,7470%4--$3,937$169,1271Fox Searchlight
3Born to Be Wild 3D$15,64539%490$319$13,697,82829Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Sarah's Key$5,79343%48-38$121$7,035,52414Weinstein Company
5Our Idiot Brother$5,09021%7938$64$24,742,2279Weinstein Company
6Machine Gun Preacher$4,66230%25-18$186$484,3375Relativity Media
7Warrior (2011)$3,05521%65-70$47$13,638,1077Lionsgate
8Horrible Bosses$2,53617%50-35$51$117,533,35016Warner Bros. / New Line
9Labios Rojos$2,480-2%43-24$58$127,0542Lionsgate / Pantelion
10Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$2,34121%53-27$44$23,929,7409FilmDistrict
11Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$1,85072%21--$88$477,6828Indomina Media
12Munger Road$1,62520%16-16$102$223,3824Freestyle Releasing
13Circumstance$1,58192%10-9$158$421,2979Roadside Attractions
14Texas Killing Fields$1,56916%41$392$25,6832Anchor Bay Films
15I Don't Know How She Does It$945126%29-78$33$9,596,8686Weinstein Company
16Apollo 18$88291%13-5$68$17,553,3838Weinstein Company
17Dirty Girl$81485%5-5$163$49,1843Weinstein Company
18Project Nim$674-67%129$56$204,63616Roadside Attractions
19The Future$538-5%14--$38$561,43113Roadside Attractions
20Thunder Soul$14969%4-8$37$143,2785Roadside Attractions