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 Thu, Nov. 10 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Nov. 10 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Puss in Boots (2011)$2,377,57379%3,96311$600$83,309,1662Paramount / DreamWorks
2Tower Heist$1,801,34530%3,367--$535$30,691,8501Universal
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$1,121,27322%2,875--$390$17,322,3821Warner Bros. / New Line
4In Time$724,27037%3,1275$232$26,516,7372Fox
5Paranormal Activity 3$619,35448%3,286-43$188$97,197,5523Paramount
6Footloose (2011)$458,40883%2,811-413$163$46,040,7784Paramount
7The Rum Diary$309,99910%2,29220$135$11,567,9842FilmDistrict
8Real Steel$303,85061%2,438-476$125$79,748,1165Disney / DreamWorks
9The Ides of March$190,14720%1,391-181$137$37,414,0265Sony / Columbia
10Courageous$186,92745%1,1384$164$30,553,5886Sony / TriStar
11The Three Musketeers (2011)$179,45833%1,863-1154$96$18,670,3043Summit
12Moneyball$172,97833%1,278-353$135$70,791,5697Sony / Columbia
13Dolphin Tale$105,35780%1,105-733$95$68,940,7787Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Nov. 10 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anonymous$137,70626%514249$268$3,171,3912Sony / Columbia
250/50$107,47635%747-447$144$33,334,1156Summit
3Margin Call$64,63910%17838$363$2,766,6833Roadside Attractions
4Johnny English Reborn$57,96050%644-910$90$7,924,7903Universal
5The Way$42,69219%224-34$191$2,298,9555Producers Distribution Agency
6Sarah's Key$37,65917%318289$118$7,477,40316Weinstein Company
7Contagion$26,90143%260-151$103$74,553,4489Warner Bros.
8The Thing (2011)$26,88017%384-1010$70$16,842,5254Universal
9Drive (2011)$22,82812%136-58$168$34,153,8458FilmDistrict
10Rise of the Planet of the Apes$18,81531%199-32$95$176,202,65114Fox
11Dream House$16,49543%330-255$50$21,204,5256Universal
12Crazy, Stupid, Love$16,13230%172-78$94$84,162,42615Warner Bros.
13Abduction$13,19240%207-144$64$27,411,7907Lionsgate
14The Mighty Macs$11,62623%101-288$115$1,771,5553Quaker Media
15The Big Year$10,58433%213-210$50$7,049,4414Fox
16Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$9,67551%22562$43$380,901,82117Warner Bros.
17What's Your Number?$7,2109%10240$71$13,965,0116Fox
18Killer Elite$5,84912%119-138$49$25,027,8787Open Road
19Captain America: The First Avenger$5,84255%102-37$57$176,654,50516Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Nov. 10 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1J. Edgar$45,889-13%7--$6,556$98,5340Warner Bros.
2Martha Marcy May Marlene$45,4277%9866$464$1,200,0463Fox Searchlight
3Like Crazy$30,97423%1612$1,936$551,2662Paramount Vantage
4Born to Be Wild 3D$21,59048%490$441$14,027,04531Warner Bros. / IMAX
5The Double (2011)$8,0527%4534$179$128,2362Image Entertainment
6Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$5,13989%98-53$52$38,369,78412Weinstein Company
7Inni$3,7483%75$535$57,1542Cinema Purgatorio
8Apollo 18$3,38526%93-27$36$17,675,92110Weinstein Company
9Our Idiot Brother$2,84716%35-16$81$24,802,27511Weinstein Company
10Laugh at My Pain$2,46752%38-13$65$7,682,1839CodeBlack Entertainment
11The Son of No One$2,37830%10--$238$26,1871Anchor Bay Films
12Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$2,25314%52-23$43$24,028,64511FilmDistrict
13Shark Night 3D$1,88947%44-46$43$18,844,57210Relativity Media
14Machine Gun Preacher$1,28647%12-1$107$524,7477Relativity Media
15Munger Road$85333%9-1$95$261,2776Freestyle Releasing
16Circumstance$722142%5-2$144$438,41511Roadside Attractions
17Texas Killing Fields$57413%103$57$44,5634Anchor Bay Films
18I Don't Know How She Does It$423-30%8-6$53$9,610,5018Weinstein Company
19Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$392120%5-1$78$486,76210Indomina Media
20Dirty Girl$268-25%65$45$55,1255Weinstein Company
21Project Nim$14955%30$50$406,80918Roadside Attractions
22The Future$42-82%50$8$567,72515Roadside Attractions