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, Nov. 4 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Nov. 4 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Tower Heist$8,062,980--3,367--$2,395$8,062,9801Universal
2Puss in Boots (2011)$7,812,356297%3,96311$1,971$50,285,3942Paramount / DreamWorks
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$5,392,867--2,875--$1,876$5,392,8671Warner Bros. / New Line
4Paranormal Activity 3$2,938,821189%3,286-43$894$89,721,8753Paramount
5In Time$2,475,551144%3,1275$792$18,984,1962Fox
6Footloose (2011)$1,474,845229%2,811-413$525$41,724,4654Paramount
7The Rum Diary$986,73785%2,29220$431$8,422,4712FilmDistrict
8Real Steel$928,809184%2,438-476$381$76,272,0515Disney / DreamWorks
9The Ides of March$600,722114%1,391-181$432$35,401,0075Sony / Columbia
10Moneyball$586,629141%1,278-353$459$69,014,0197Sony / Columbia
11The Three Musketeers (2011)$491,46542%1,863-1154$264$16,840,4613Summit
12Courageous$488,439147%1,1384$429$28,900,1726Sony / TriStar
13Dolphin Tale$239,01390%1,105-733$216$67,834,1307Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Nov. 4 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anonymous$370,683262%514249$721$1,821,0092Sony / Columbia
250/50$313,58871%747-447$420$32,334,8296Summit
3Margin Call$204,166168%17838$1,147$2,002,6763Roadside Attractions
4Johnny English Reborn$170,66037%644-910$265$7,219,5703Universal
5The Thing (2011)$78,720-13%384-1010$205$16,558,4004Universal
6Sarah's Key$75,8001678%318289$238$7,144,97516Weinstein Company
7Contagion$68,47391%260-151$263$74,319,5889Warner Bros.
8The Smurfs$67,524--278-25$243$141,035,55515Sony / Columbia
9Drive (2011)$62,00349%136-58$456$33,929,1118FilmDistrict
10Dream House$61,050161%330-255$185$21,006,5806Universal
11Rise of the Planet of the Apes$50,109155%199-32$252$176,012,68514Fox
12Crazy, Stupid, Love$44,782106%172-78$260$84,024,13815Warner Bros.
13Abduction$41,014108%207-144$198$27,276,7357Lionsgate
14The Big Year$32,13040%213-210$151$6,945,2264Fox
15The Mighty Macs$24,7564%101-288$245$1,667,7143Quaker Media
16Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$22,06462%22562$98$380,775,32917Warner Bros.
17What's Your Number?$17,937204%10240$176$13,899,0746Fox
18Captain America: The First Avenger$17,677154%102-37$173$176,597,68216Paramount
19Killer Elite$13,001-5%119-138$109$24,977,0387Open Road

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Nov. 4 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Martha Marcy May Marlene$129,175341%9866$1,318$694,4273Fox Searchlight
2Like Crazy$80,656389%1612$5,041$258,6522Paramount Vantage
3Born to Be Wild 3D$24,44492%490$499$13,892,60631Warner Bros. / IMAX
4The Double (2011)$19,388545%4534$431$57,7562Image Entertainment
5Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$10,790166%98-53$110$38,308,24212Weinstein Company
6Apollo 18$9,38957%93-27$101$17,637,28810Weinstein Company
7Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$8,944203%52-23$172$23,997,11511FilmDistrict
8Laugh at My Pain$7,673142%39-12$197$7,658,7609CodeBlack Entertainment
9The Son of No One$6,603--10--$660$6,6031Anchor Bay Films
10Our Idiot Brother$6,334185%35-16$181$24,778,20111Weinstein Company
11Shark Night 3D$6,21571%44-46$141$18,817,56810Relativity Media
12Munger Road$3,914107%9-1$435$252,8286Freestyle Releasing
13Machine Gun Preacher$2,141-18%12-1$178$515,2197Relativity Media
14Texas Killing Fields$1,27624%103$128$38,9874Anchor Bay Films
15Circumstance$1,044-8%5-2$209$434,32811Roadside Attractions
16I Don't Know How She Does It$9289%8-6$116$9,606,8628Weinstein Company
17Dirty Girl$680369%65$113$52,3825Weinstein Company
18Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$607137%5-1$121$484,80310Indomina Media
19The Future$138-57%50$28$566,64015Roadside Attractions
20Project Nim$95197%30$32$406,19318Roadside Attractions