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, Feb. 14 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Feb. 14 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Vow$11,555,393247%2,958--$3,906$56,088,3351Sony / Screen Gems
2Safe House$6,082,050106%3,119--$1,950$49,201,2401Universal
3Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$2,394,07688%3,470--$690$31,004,9251Warner Bros. / New Line
4The Woman in Black$1,634,068191%2,8561$572$37,454,5522CBS Films
5Chronicle$1,307,94868%2,9081$450$42,044,5462Fox
6Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$1,113,13021%2,655--$419$24,500,4951Fox
7The Grey$874,021116%2,801-406$312$44,066,9163Open Road
8Underworld Awakening$596,213142%1,657-979$360$59,756,7414Sony / Screen Gems
9The Descendants$585,174121%1,581-457$370$71,521,71513Fox Searchlight
10Big Miracle$458,595106%2,1334$215$13,963,5702Universal
11One For the Money$409,535131%2,056-681$199$24,266,7513Lionsgate
12Red Tails$392,10995%1,580-767$248$45,673,9594Fox
13Contraband$259,440154%1,081-966$240$65,004,4205Universal
14Man on a Ledge$245,952146%1,423-1575$173$17,817,4913Lionsgate
15Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$228,398102%1,375-1130$166$29,748,5448Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Feb. 14 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Artist$436,576110%808-197$540$24,646,22012Weinstein Company
2Hugo$237,77175%702-328$339$64,815,68012Paramount
3The Iron Lady$194,48570%512-509$380$23,106,1407Weinstein Company
4Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$125,593127%469-608$268$206,695,6869Paramount
5Beauty and the Beast 3D$104,90184%678-1041$155$46,625,1365Disney
6Joyful Noise$81,562135%686-664$119$30,006,4555Warner Bros.
7Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu$81,243211%111--$732$744,4651UTV Communications
8War Horse$73,15373%502-661$146$78,315,5838Disney / DreamWorks
9Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$71,92677%232-70$310$22,107,61010Focus
10Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$60,637130%265-592$229$184,660,2059Warner Bros.
11The Adventures of Tintin$49,00586%257-229$191$75,946,8578Paramount
12Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$46,02942%502-316$92$129,133,2699Fox
13We Bought a Zoo$42,13793%420-334$100$73,310,5308Fox
14Albert Nobbs$40,08859%151-94$265$2,099,6593Roadside Attractions
15Haywire$39,03999%263-988$148$18,638,1244Relativity Media
16My Week with Marilyn$32,87456%125-46$263$13,397,96112Weinstein Company
17Puss in Boots (2011)$24,30039%209-44$116$148,782,74416Paramount / DreamWorks
18The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$20,57872%230-66$89$281,190,70813Lionsgate / Summit
19Happy Feet Two$19,09954%202-53$95$63,706,60713Warner Bros.
20New Year's Eve$12,375105%155-67$80$54,511,86510Warner Bros. / New Line

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Feb. 14 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$16,11452%44-1$366$16,183,74145Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Shame$14,28555%52-12$275$3,630,41011Fox Searchlight
3The Sitter$10,65676%99-27$108$30,428,67410Fox
4W.E.$9,78752%1713$576$139,9982Weinstein Company
5The Devil Inside$6,788110%95-208$71$53,159,8046Paramount
6Coriolanus$4,06819%11-3$370$275,4354Weinstein Company
7Pariah (2011)$3,09248%13-6$238$662,6227Focus
8Immortals$2,94466%33-29$89$83,493,26714Relativity Media
9Young Adult$2,33490%35-23$67$16,261,07310Paramount
10J. Edgar$2,31166%42-93$55$37,297,17814Warner Bros.
11In the Land of Blood and Honey$1,56870%103$157$274,8688FilmDistrict
12The Darkest Hour$1,360134%18-21$76$21,219,4318Summit
13Vettai$1,109560%2-2$555$199,4695UTV Communications
14Margin Call$77-47%2--$39$5,353,80717Roadside Attractions