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 Mon, Nov. 7 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Nov. 7 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Puss in Boots (2011)$1,636,620-84%3,96311$413$77,164,3022Paramount / DreamWorks
2Tower Heist$1,515,150-72%3,367--$450$25,540,3401Universal
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$1,031,316-64%2,875--$359$13,985,4581Warner Bros. / New Line
4In Time$563,031-68%3,1275$180$24,553,2682Fox
5Paranormal Activity 3$505,874-70%3,286-43$154$95,622,6193Paramount
6The Rum Diary$272,941-63%2,29220$119$10,629,1562FilmDistrict
7Footloose (2011)$267,151-72%2,811-413$95$44,986,9064Paramount
8Real Steel$207,062-77%2,438-476$85$78,986,3905Disney / DreamWorks
9The Ides of March$139,581-68%1,391-181$100$36,878,0635Sony / Columbia
10Courageous$134,178-68%1,1384$118$30,085,4746Sony / TriStar
11The Three Musketeers (2011)$133,503-71%1,863-1154$72$18,181,1333Summit
12Moneyball$124,885-66%1,278-353$98$70,338,7167Sony / Columbia
13Dolphin Tale$63,060-79%1,105-733$57$68,680,4437Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Nov. 7 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anonymous$107,380-67%514249$209$2,790,7122Sony / Columbia
250/50$76,302-65%747-447$102$33,051,1796Summit
3Margin Call$52,728-72%17838$296$2,569,0773Roadside Attractions
4Johnny English Reborn$38,640-81%644-910$60$7,763,7953Universal
5The Way$30,586--224-34$137$2,180,2595Producers Distribution Agency
6Sarah's Key$29,938-60%318289$94$7,368,39816Weinstein Company
7The Thing (2011)$23,040-63%384-1010$60$16,767,6754Universal
8Drive (2011)$20,290-61%136-58$149$34,084,9328FilmDistrict
9Contagion$18,033-66%260-151$69$74,485,6739Warner Bros.
10Dream House$14,850-64%330-255$45$21,161,7056Universal
11Rise of the Planet of the Apes$13,058-73%199-32$66$176,153,86414Fox
12Crazy, Stupid, Love$11,117-60%172-78$65$84,120,71715Warner Bros.
13Abduction$10,282-64%207-144$50$27,376,7577Lionsgate
14The Big Year$7,339-68%213-210$34$7,021,2264Fox
15Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$6,022-82%22562$27$380,879,04217Warner Bros.
16What's Your Number?$5,867-62%10240$58$13,943,1576Fox
17Killer Elite$4,967-56%119-138$42$25,011,5357Open Road
18Captain America: The First Avenger$3,531-74%102-37$35$176,640,34716Paramount
19The Mighty Macs$2,720-90%101-288$27$1,739,9933Quaker Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Nov. 7 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Martha Marcy May Marlene$39,938-68%9866$408$1,060,9623Fox Searchlight
2Like Crazy$23,286-70%1612$1,455$467,7962Paramount Vantage
3Born to Be Wild 3D$9,963-68%490$203$13,974,01231Warner Bros. / IMAX
4The Double (2011)$6,541-61%4534$145$105,1022Image Entertainment
5Apollo 18$2,949-72%93-27$32$17,666,63710Weinstein Company
6Inni$2,809--53$562$47,5382Cinema Purgatorio
7Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$2,731-86%98-53$28$38,357,94112Weinstein Company
8Our Idiot Brother$2,294-57%35-16$66$24,794,05411Weinstein Company
9Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$2,125-77%52-23$41$24,022,22411FilmDistrict
10Shark Night 3D$2,085-72%44-46$47$18,839,50910Relativity Media
11Laugh at My Pain$1,984-60%38-13$52$7,675,9069CodeBlack Entertainment
12The Son of No One$1,887-58%10--$189$19,9021Anchor Bay Films
13Machine Gun Preacher$825-63%12-1$69$521,3297Relativity Media
14Texas Killing Fields$592-58%103$59$42,8304Anchor Bay Films
15Circumstance$450-50%5-2$90$436,79511Roadside Attractions
16Munger Road$328-85%9-1$36$259,3156Freestyle Releasing
17Dirty Girl$310-43%65$52$53,9405Weinstein Company
18I Don't Know How She Does It$253-76%8-6$32$9,609,0478Weinstein Company
19Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$135-51%5-1$27$486,09610Indomina Media
20The Future$116-24%50$23$567,15915Roadside Attractions
21Project Nim$6282%30$21$406,50418Roadside Attractions