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, Jan. 2 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Jan. 2 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$8,780,560-13%3,4557$2,541$141,186,6463Paramount
2Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$6,006,473-12%3,7030$1,622$136,910,2193Warner Bros.
3Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$5,118,98012%3,72441$1,375$97,848,1143Fox
4The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$4,366,072-17%2,9140$1,498$59,950,9532Sony / Columbia
5The Adventures of Tintin$3,925,3038%3,0870$1,272$51,400,4502Paramount
6We Bought a Zoo$3,765,441-3%3,16346$1,190$44,490,9992Fox
7War Horse$3,638,014-11%2,547171$1,428$44,089,7862Disney / DreamWorks
8New Year's Eve$1,258,473-30%2,2250$566$47,257,8234Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Darkest Hour$1,077,671-26%2,3273$463$14,215,6342Summit
10The Muppets$1,031,62141%1,5415$669$83,561,0736Disney
11The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$594,738-14%1,4110$422$276,125,4767Lionsgate / Summit
12The Sitter$498,483-29%1,348-138$370$26,816,3404Fox
13Arthur Christmas$252,92849%1,343-181$188$46,073,1636Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Jan. 2 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$894,890-14%7585$1,181$40,315,6657Fox Searchlight
2Hugo$859,2933%9510$904$50,313,4956Paramount
3Young Adult$607,481-20%9870$615$12,669,2524Paramount
4The Artist$404,373-10%1670$2,421$5,448,7176Weinstein Company
5My Week with Marilyn$271,499-15%63028$431$9,207,2206Weinstein Company
6Puss in Boots (2011)$254,6669%3890$655$145,738,32710Paramount / DreamWorks
7Happy Feet Two$157,69836%525-10$300$60,965,8667Warner Bros.
8Don 2$114,260--1676$684$3,288,6862Reliance Big Entertainment
9Footloose (2011)$88,848196%1820$488$51,670,51212Paramount
10J. Edgar$78,226-2%4550$172$36,650,8318Warner Bros.
11Real Steel$75,174--2270$331$84,568,41513Disney / DreamWorks
12Tower Heist$68,310-18%253-30$270$76,802,2259Universal
13Moneyball$54,417-16%2508$218$75,016,05915Sony / Columbia
14Courageous$52,440-13%181-11$290$34,088,36014Sony / TriStar
15Jack and Jill$52,389-15%222-20$236$71,750,0378Sony / Columbia
16Dolphin Tale$52,17727%1880$278$72,015,96915Warner Bros.
17Immortals$42,433-21%2280$186$82,699,4328Relativity Media
18A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$33,509-20%2450$137$34,928,5459Warner Bros. / New Line
19In Time$30,120-12%12311$245$37,076,41510Fox
20The Ides of March$25,176-15%143-2$176$40,850,78813Sony / Columbia
21Paranormal Activity 3$14,589-33%1240$118$104,007,82811Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Jan. 2 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$324,452-17%572$5,692$4,280,1864Focus
2A Dangerous Method$99,824--613$1,636$1,676,5816Sony Pictures Classics
3Shame$77,991-6%555$1,418$2,043,8655Fox Searchlight
4The Iron Lady$65,400-16%4--$16,350$285,8091Weinstein Company
5Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$39,368-13%60$6,561$352,4172Warner Bros.
6Born to Be Wild 3D$36,036169%490$735$15,183,66539Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Carnage (2011)$29,829--125$2,486$378,4343Sony Pictures Classics
8Pina$28,805--30$9,602$257,7972IFC Films
9Melancholia$22,281--63-3$354$2,539,7878Magnolia Pictures
10A Separation$21,037--3--$7,012$80,5181Sony Pictures Classics
11The Way$17,350--4720$369$4,187,40813Producers Distribution Agency
12Pariah (2011)$16,769-11%4--$4,192$101,7551Focus
13The Help$11,126--650$171$169,510,67221Disney / DreamWorks
14The Skin I Live In$9,140--28-6$326$3,051,24812Sony Pictures Classics
15Margin Call$7,821-5%29-1$270$5,254,18711Roadside Attractions
16Drive (2011)$7,144-42%25-1$286$34,840,19116FilmDistrict
17Midnight in Paris$6,895--23-5$300$56,384,62733Sony Pictures Classics
18Martha Marcy May Marlene$4,227--0-15--$2,913,44311Fox Searchlight
19In the Land of Blood and Honey$4,214-4%2-1$2,107$53,3562FilmDistrict
20Like Crazy$4,10250%300$137$3,372,10010Paramount Vantage
21Take Shelter$3,637--20-4$182$1,674,83914Sony Pictures Classics
22The Polar Express (2011 re-issue)$2,932-13%16-4$183$711,1686Warner Bros.
23Mozart's Sister$2,334--96$259$686,83020Music Box Films
24The Lion King 3D$1,635--7-3$234$94,234,98616Disney
25The Guard$830--4-2$208$5,336,97423Sony Pictures Classics
26Miss Minoes (2011 re-issue)$594--30$198$6,5412Music Box Films
27Young Goethe In Love$374--53$75$101,6119Music Box Films
28Outrage$372--1--$372$30,8125Magnolia / Magnet
29Blackthorn$343--4--$86$187,84413Magnolia Pictures
30Paul Goodman Changed My Life$226--1--$226$25,24611Zeitgeist Films
31Higher Ground$150--4-1$38$841,20619Sony Pictures Classics
32Inni$143155%10$143$117,69110Cinema Purgatorio
33Angels Crest$91--1--$91$4981Magnolia Pictures