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, Nov. 15 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Nov. 15 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Immortals$2,630,1318%3,112--$845$37,276,2491Relativity Media
2Jack and Jill$1,295,54828%3,438--$377$27,309,4321Sony / Columbia
3J. Edgar$1,038,27424%1,910--$544$13,192,2201Warner Bros.
4Puss in Boots (2011)$1,019,53011%3,903-60$261$109,975,3453Paramount / DreamWorks
5Tower Heist$894,64529%3,3703$265$45,052,7102Universal
6A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$712,07940%2,8750$248$24,458,7082Warner Bros. / New Line
7In Time$353,71633%2,591-536$137$31,218,7753Fox
8Paranormal Activity 3$231,86911%2,776-510$84$101,250,1074Paramount
9Footloose (2011)$154,63126%2,215-596$70$49,045,2665Paramount
10Real Steel$107,63413%1,758-680$61$81,815,8526Disney / DreamWorks

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Nov. 15 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Rum Diary$95,73022%947-1345$101$12,545,4093FilmDistrict
2Courageous$85,4896%905-233$94$31,731,8597Sony / TriStar
3The Ides of March$81,29037%696-695$117$38,498,8896Sony / Columbia
4Moneyball$70,68015%813-465$87$71,989,8958Sony / Columbia
5Anonymous$62,98630%482-32$131$3,865,3743Sony / Columbia
6Martha Marcy May Marlene$52,43818%18385$287$1,778,2924Fox Searchlight
7The Three Musketeers (2011)$51,75944%669-1194$77$19,254,9244Summit
850/50$48,25432%424-323$114$33,926,4387Summit
9The Way$34,49315%171-53$202$2,695,2056Producers Distribution Agency
10Contagion$32,74025%35595$92$74,924,70910Warner Bros.
11Dolphin Tale$31,1125%705-400$44$69,694,8158Warner Bros.
12Johnny English Reborn$18,99550%210-434$90$8,161,0854Universal
13Sarah's Key$14,97728%162-156$92$7,603,14417Weinstein Company
14Rise of the Planet of the Apes$9,72711%164-35$59$176,351,32615Fox
15Killer Elite$8,97422%16041$56$25,109,9668Open Road
16Crazy, Stupid, Love$8,49424%130-42$65$84,260,20016Warner Bros.
17Abduction$5,80924%127-80$46$27,493,5248Lionsgate
18The Thing (2011)$5,64013%141-243$40$16,918,0955Universal
19Dream House$5,2002%172-158$30$21,293,7157Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Nov. 15 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Margin Call$52,83437%0-178--$3,402,2944Roadside Attractions
2Like Crazy$49,21310%7054$703$1,149,5933Paramount Vantage
3Drive (2011)$13,28237%75-61$177$34,282,2939FilmDistrict
4Born to Be Wild 3D$12,84424%490$262$14,168,04532Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Inni$5,894858%84$737$79,3023Cinema Purgatorio
6Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$5,3932%85-140$63$380,966,30018Warner Bros.
7The Mighty Macs$3,90023%61-40$64$1,832,8054Quaker Media
8I Don't Know How She Does It$3,69143%8375$44$9,645,5209Weinstein Company
9What's Your Number?$3,01248%63-39$48$13,992,5317Fox
10The Big Year$2,98014%83-130$36$7,087,6605Fox
11Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$1,776-32%72-26$25$38,425,51813Weinstein Company
12Shark Night 3D$1,0296%29-15$35$18,862,40511Relativity Media
13Our Idiot Brother$97931%12-23$82$24,811,27112Weinstein Company
14The Double (2011)$91019%12-33$76$135,9583Image Entertainment
15The Son of No One$83477%4-6$209$30,1762Anchor Bay Films
16Apollo 18$523-19%18-75$29$17,684,84111Weinstein Company
17Laugh at My Pain$309-31%13-25$24$7,689,51010CodeBlack Entertainment
18Machine Gun Preacher$29629%120$25$527,3748Relativity Media
19Circumstance$26041%50$52$440,54012Roadside Attractions
20Munger Road$120-31%7-2$17$266,4857Freestyle Releasing
21Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$68127%1-4$68$487,60411Indomina Media
22The Future$48140%3-2$16$568,14816Roadside Attractions
23Project Nim$48-61%30$16$406,98019Roadside Attractions
24Texas Killing Fields$37-56%3-7$12$45,4035Anchor Bay Films