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. 24 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Nov. 24 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$7,732,709-38%4,066--$1,902$179,148,4351Lionsgate / Summit
2The Muppets$5,766,753-11%3,440--$1,676$12,277,6650Disney
3Hugo$2,356,28740%1,277--$1,845$4,037,5370Paramount
4Happy Feet Two$2,047,160-30%3,606--$568$30,358,0111Warner Bros.
5Immortals$1,915,6536%2,677-435$716$59,831,0762Relativity Media
6Jack and Jill$1,890,015-2%3,029-409$624$47,119,9702Sony / Columbia
7Arthur Christmas$1,842,931-23%3,376--$546$4,232,2000Sony / Columbia
8Tower Heist$1,555,62521%2,489-881$625$58,024,1653Universal
9Puss in Boots (2011)$1,288,140-22%3,005-898$429$127,919,0564Paramount / DreamWorks
10J. Edgar$973,43117%1,94737$500$23,862,6712Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Nov. 24 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$1,055,1618%390385$2,706$3,541,2321Fox Searchlight
2A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$368,333-2%960-1915$384$29,965,3353Warner Bros. / New Line
3In Time$179,64021%470-2121$382$34,275,8274Fox
4My Week with Marilyn$155,6090%123--$1,265$311,6430Weinstein Company
5Like Crazy$64,930-32%15080$433$2,053,3184Paramount Vantage
6Footloose (2011)$64,1674%384-1831$167$50,545,0806Paramount
7Moneyball$52,7973%187-626$282$72,869,5619Sony / Columbia
8Paranormal Activity 3$50,730-8%355-2421$143$102,970,3975Paramount
9The Ides of March$45,28411%159-537$285$39,288,5987Sony / Columbia
10Courageous$44,5867%211-694$211$32,550,6358Sony / TriStar
11The Three Musketeers (2011)$35,669-20%224-445$159$19,679,0985Summit
12Margin Call$32,524-24%170--$191$4,074,0075Roadside Attractions
1350/50$30,329-13%210-214$144$34,357,1308Summit
14The Way$29,018-8%137-34$212$3,169,0527Producers Distribution Agency
15Contagion$28,849-13%301-54$96$75,295,25111Warner Bros.
16Martha Marcy May Marlene$28,179-5%127-56$222$2,399,6135Fox Searchlight
17Dolphin Tale$21,810-51%388-317$56$70,177,4019Warner Bros.
18Abduction$20,212-21%16336$124$27,708,6139Lionsgate
19Rise of the Planet of the Apes$11,922-28%120-44$99$176,508,23216Fox
20Johnny English Reborn$8,295-9%108-102$77$8,305,9705Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Nov. 24 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Drive (2011)$14,068-1%9318$151$34,406,91010FilmDistrict
2Anonymous$12,74516%72-410$177$4,231,8074Sony / Columbia
3The Rum Diary$10,5509%54-893$195$12,902,7724FilmDistrict
4Born to Be Wild 3D$8,788-57%490$179$14,362,63133Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Crazy, Stupid, Love$6,430-18%91-39$71$84,351,19717Warner Bros.
6The Big Year$3,558-11%52-31$68$7,135,6356Fox
7Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$2,217-68%48-24$46$38,490,06814Weinstein Company
8Sarah's Key$2,104-21%27-135$78$7,675,31318Weinstein Company
9The Mighty Macs$2,104-56%28-33$75$1,877,6255Quaker Media
10Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$1,694-15%78-7$22$381,011,21919Warner Bros.
11Laugh at My Pain$95362%11-2$87$7,699,80611CodeBlack Entertainment
12Machine Gun Preacher$521-4%9-3$58$533,3339Relativity Media
13Shark Night 3D$511-29%270$19$18,877,15312Relativity Media
14Our Idiot Brother$223-16%6-6$37$24,816,11813Weinstein Company
15I Don't Know How She Does It$162-41%38-45$4$9,662,28410Weinstein Company
16Circumstance$105-5%1-4$105$441,82913Roadside Attractions
17Apollo 18$899%5-13$18$17,687,70912Weinstein Company
18Inni$61-98%1-3$61$92,4214Cinema Purgatorio
19The Future$11175%1-2$11$568,29017Roadside Attractions