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, Nov. 2 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Nov. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Puss in Boots (2011)$1,881,337-23%3,952--$476$40,505,2951Paramount / DreamWorks
2In Time$1,012,036-26%3,122--$324$15,493,8851Fox
3Paranormal Activity 3$988,773-26%3,3298$297$85,767,5402Paramount
4The Rum Diary$542,146-20%2,272--$239$6,902,1101FilmDistrict
5Footloose (2011)$396,644-17%3,224-331$123$39,801,8783Paramount
6The Three Musketeers (2011)$342,652-20%3,0170$114$16,003,8652Summit
7Real Steel$312,215-18%2,914-498$107$75,016,6834Disney / DreamWorks
8The Ides of March$263,755-14%1,572-470$168$34,519,5324Sony / Columbia
9Moneyball$223,121-10%1,631-722$137$68,184,0846Sony / Columbia
1050/50$167,742-9%1,194-738$140$31,837,5655Summit
11Courageous$159,053-11%1,134-61$140$28,213,8785Sony / TriStar
12Johnny English Reborn$117,025-35%1,5542$75$6,924,5902Universal
13Dolphin Tale$116,229-17%1,838-990$63$67,469,0826Warner Bros.
14The Thing (2011)$83,985-14%1,394-1601$60$16,389,0703Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Nov. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anonymous$98,469-16%265--$372$1,347,9721Sony / Columbia
2Margin Call$73,217-10%14084$523$1,722,2782Roadside Attractions
3The Help$47,83510%450-326$106$167,042,21212Disney / DreamWorks
4The Way$42,709-2%258-25$166$1,741,8454Producers Distribution Agency
5Drive (2011)$35,143-11%194-173$181$33,825,3807FilmDistrict
6Contagion$34,001-12%411-490$83$74,215,2948Warner Bros.
7The Mighty Macs$32,814-20%389-586$84$1,619,2462Quaker Media
8Dream House$23,400-11%585-639$40$20,922,1455Universal
9The Big Year$19,600-16%423-1727$46$6,890,2073Fox
10The Lion King 3D$19,314-8%378-713$51$93,202,6217Disney
11Crazy, Stupid, Love$18,538-3%250-58$74$83,957,63714Warner Bros.
12Rise of the Planet of the Apes$17,905-4%231-18$78$175,942,91713Fox
13Abduction$16,016-19%351-402$46$27,216,0176Lionsgate
14Killer Elite$13,001-8%257-494$51$24,950,4126Open Road
15Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$11,0202%163-77$68$380,739,67016Warner Bros.
16Captain America: The First Avenger$6,087-22%139-45$44$176,573,05715Paramount
17Apollo 18$5,508-3%120107$46$17,621,9179Weinstein Company
18Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$3,379-6%151-27$22$38,293,40011Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Nov. 2 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Martha Marcy May Marlene$29,722-7%3228$929$535,9702Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$15,80316%490$323$13,855,42930Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Like Crazy$14,2827%4--$3,571$161,4871Paramount Vantage
4The Debt$6,826-20%87-32$78$31,170,3769Focus
5What's Your Number?$6,695-19%62-281$108$13,875,2285Fox
6Cowboys & Aliens$5,460-14%91-40$60$100,234,22614Universal
7Sarah's Key$3,901117%29-19$135$7,064,91115Weinstein Company
8Laugh at My Pain$3,6642%51-52$72$7,647,9148CodeBlack Entertainment
9Shark Night 3D$3,268-19%90-12$36$18,807,7119Relativity Media
10The Double (2011)$2,8909%11--$263$35,3641Image Entertainment
11Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$2,863-9%7522$38$23,985,22210FilmDistrict
12Our Idiot Brother$2,027-6%51-28$40$24,769,64310Weinstein Company
13Machine Gun Preacher$1,553-24%13-12$119$510,4746Relativity Media
14Warrior (2011)$1,5228%31-34$49$13,655,5658Lionsgate
15Munger Road$1,13995%10-6$114$247,0275Freestyle Releasing
16Circumstance$977-14%7-3$140$432,14710Roadside Attractions
17Texas Killing Fields$797-2%73$114$36,6813Anchor Bay Films
18I Don't Know How She Does It$666-22%14-15$48$9,605,0837Weinstein Company
19Inni$611-62%1--$611$34,4431Cinema Purgatorio
20The Future$373-33%5-9$75$566,17914Roadside Attractions
21Labios Rojos$312-17%11-32$28$135,7983Lionsgate / Pantelion
22Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$201-13%6-15$34$483,9409Indomina Media
23Project Nim$8656%3-9$29$406,06617Roadside Attractions
24Dirty Girl$54286%1-4$54$51,5574Weinstein Company
25Thunder Soul$6-76%40$2$143,6556Roadside Attractions