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 Sat, Nov. 19 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Nov. 19 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$40,029,203-44%4,061--$9,857$111,671,7291Lionsgate / Summit
2Happy Feet Two$9,269,64058%3,606--$2,571$15,120,2661Warner Bros.
3Jack and Jill$5,229,15551%3,4380$1,521$37,727,2182Sony / Columbia
4Immortals$5,090,36533%3,1208$1,632$49,632,8772Relativity Media
5Puss in Boots (2011)$4,945,43794%3,415-488$1,448$119,083,6644Paramount / DreamWorks
6Tower Heist$3,265,62052%2,942-428$1,110$51,847,1703Universal
7J. Edgar$2,613,09046%1,94737$1,342$19,203,0682Warner Bros.
8A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$1,215,43533%1,808-1067$672$27,561,0233Warner Bros. / New Line
9In Time$746,26044%1,367-1224$546$33,006,9044Fox
10Paranormal Activity 3$444,00833%1,402-1374$317$102,395,9705Paramount
11Footloose (2011)$383,45242%1,218-997$315$49,958,6616Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Nov. 19 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Real Steel$259,69294%702-1056$370$82,397,6517Disney / DreamWorks
2Moneyball$247,26170%409-404$605$72,521,8559Sony / Columbia
3The Ides of March$222,93278%298-398$748$38,988,1497Sony / Columbia
4Like Crazy$221,26844%10939$2,030$1,619,5234Paramount Vantage
5Margin Call$208,00892%173-26$1,202$3,808,3395Roadside Attractions
6Courageous$178,20351%517-388$345$32,204,0198Sony / TriStar
7Martha Marcy May Marlene$173,27464%180-3$963$2,152,5965Fox Searchlight
8Dolphin Tale$118,16098%388-317$305$69,933,8379Warner Bros.
9The Smurfs$101,634120%252-17$403$141,876,52417Sony / Columbia
1050/50$100,79535%185-239$545$34,188,0138Summit
11The Three Musketeers (2011)$88,592-2%170-499$521$19,511,2815Summit
12Contagion$85,69640%301-54$285$75,125,70611Warner Bros.
13Anonymous$74,12350%179-303$414$4,099,8194Sony / Columbia
14The Rum Diary$59,87142%152-795$394$12,793,3754FilmDistrict
15Abduction$53,27051%18154$294$27,591,1099Lionsgate
16Rise of the Planet of the Apes$38,90675%131-33$297$176,429,78316Fox
17Johnny English Reborn$38,88564%108-102$360$8,244,8055Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Nov. 19 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$493,70455%29--$17,024$891,5431Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$30,11125%490$615$14,254,04933Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Drive (2011)$26,67050%46-29$580$34,345,77210FilmDistrict
4Crazy, Stupid, Love$21,17136%91-39$233$84,313,23317Warner Bros.
5Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$18,249203%70-2$261$38,453,14514Weinstein Company
6Sarah's Key$13,73749%52-110$264$7,652,88718Weinstein Company
7The Big Year$12,17053%59-24$206$7,113,4066Fox
8Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$10,33735%78-7$133$380,992,75219Warner Bros.
9The Mighty Macs$8,30855%28-33$297$1,859,0485Quaker Media
10What's Your Number?$4,75839%25-38$190$14,005,1648Fox
11Shark Night 3D$3,70473%27-2$137$18,869,80912Relativity Media
12I Don't Know How She Does It$3,66366%38-45$96$9,656,92010Weinstein Company
13Laugh at My Pain$2,87469%11-2$261$7,694,77611CodeBlack Entertainment
14Inni$1,839-52%5--$368$87,9904Cinema Purgatorio
15Machine Gun Preacher$1,35358%197$71$530,2899Relativity Media
16Our Idiot Brother$1,036100%6-6$173$24,814,17313Weinstein Company
17Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$516-8%87$65$488,77412Indomina Media
18Apollo 18$39411%5-13$79$17,686,66312Weinstein Company
19Circumstance$9471%2-3$47$441,12113Roadside Attractions