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 Sun, Jan. 15 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Jan. 15 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Contraband$7,200,445-15%2,863--$2,515$24,349,8151Universal
2Beauty and the Beast 3D$5,427,041-19%2,625--$2,067$17,751,9051Disney
3Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$3,674,255-23%3,346-209$1,098$186,933,4065Paramount
4Joyful Noise$3,362,169-26%2,735--$1,229$11,225,1901Warner Bros.
5Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$2,688,563-23%3,155-448$852$170,192,3015Warner Bros.
6The Devil Inside$2,216,768-28%2,551266$869$46,375,2862Paramount
7The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$2,079,421-21%2,674-276$778$87,841,7564Sony / Columbia
8Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$2,052,481-23%2,849-576$720$118,875,1195Fox
9War Horse$1,929,001-18%2,85673$675$66,095,0914Disney / DreamWorks
10We Bought a Zoo$1,855,424-20%2,909-261$638$64,049,3154Fox
11The Adventures of Tintin$1,479,114-14%2,073-933$714$67,740,2304Paramount
12The Darkest Hour$326,244-27%1,182-981$276$20,528,4734Summit
13New Year's Eve$312,816-25%1,092-772$286$53,692,9816Warner Bros. / New Line

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Jan. 15 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Iron Lady$1,610,376-28%802797$2,008$6,000,5553Weinstein Company
2Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$951,906-28%88677$1,074$15,136,7126Focus
3The Descendants$668,492-24%660-77$1,013$47,104,4529Fox Searchlight
4The Artist$398,720-20%21644$1,846$8,789,9598Weinstein Company
5Hugo$395,411-9%545-298$726$54,163,1238Paramount
6The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$239,340-27%708-350$338$279,638,9999Lionsgate / Summit
7The Muppets$220,626-12%547-689$403$86,409,3968Disney
8Happy Feet Two$179,387-12%36580$491$61,898,3439Warner Bros.
9The Sitter$175,251-10%449-309$390$29,650,2556Fox
10My Week with Marilyn$148,893-22%400-184$372$11,344,9868Weinstein Company
11Puss in Boots (2011)$144,720-20%316-35$458$147,150,14412Paramount / DreamWorks
12Jack and Jill$142,036-17%298127$477$72,424,31810Sony / Columbia
13Young Adult$133,224-22%387-443$344$15,705,9806Paramount
14Tower Heist$72,785-26%260-35$280$77,539,10511Universal
15Immortals$58,096-5%18759$311$83,059,93410Relativity Media
16Courageous$31,943-5%116-75$275$34,434,96716Sony / TriStar
17In Time$24,539-15%106-26$232$37,359,99612Fox
18Moneyball$21,377-31%128-103$167$75,421,17117Sony / Columbia

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Jan. 15 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Shame$47,121-18%41-4$1,149$2,626,6317Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$37,941-20%450$843$15,482,79941Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Pariah (2011)$31,787-23%2413$1,324$374,1843Focus
4Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$31,587-16%60$5,265$635,5454Warner Bros.
5Vettai$30,398-15%34--$894$87,9211UTV Communications
6J. Edgar$16,810-28%82-70$205$36,974,52210Warner Bros.
7In the Land of Blood and Honey$15,735-5%1811$874$149,7354FilmDistrict
8Dolphin Tale$14,107-22%91-58$155$72,228,57517Warner Bros.
9Drive (2011)$9,037-21%322$282$34,966,21618FilmDistrict
10Margin Call$4,237-37%20-10$212$5,326,46713Roadside Attractions