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 Fri, Feb. 24 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Feb. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Act of Valor$9,046,858--3,039--$2,977$9,046,8581Relativity Media
2Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$5,312,688--2,132--$2,492$5,312,6881Lionsgate
3The Vow$3,271,334142%3,03880$1,077$96,278,6773Sony / Screen Gems
4Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$3,176,897152%3,350-150$948$66,433,2483Warner Bros. / New Line
5Safe House$3,158,820120%3,052-69$1,035$89,855,3803Universal
6This Means War$2,740,087155%3,1890$859$27,810,7232Fox
7Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance$2,341,735136%3,1740$738$31,373,8172Sony / Columbia
8Wanderlust$2,172,165--2,002--$1,085$2,172,1651Universal
9Gone$1,662,955--2,186--$761$1,662,9551Summit
10Chronicle$1,073,791115%1,797-759$598$55,373,7184Fox
11The Secret World of Arrietty$1,060,836139%1,5220$697$11,218,6412Disney
12The Woman in Black$867,379107%1,727-832$502$48,596,5754CBS Films
13Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$756,39263%1,618-1037$467$38,026,0223Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Feb. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Artist$739,728161%966158$766$29,613,52714Weinstein Company
2The Descendants$542,539105%889-354$610$76,869,23215Fox Searchlight
3Hugo$383,366108%501-57$765$68,227,31014Paramount
4The Grey$221,603-9%917-1190$242$49,600,4095Open Road
5The Iron Lady$183,96049%522-101$352$25,210,5579Weinstein Company
6Big Miracle$166,420-11%628-1006$265$18,401,1954Universal
7Red Tails$129,6945%489-520$265$48,362,7796Fox
8Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$102,994110%333-70$309$185,641,61211Warner Bros.
9Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$89,37590%164-20$545$23,023,95212Focus
10Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$82,18978%311-89$264$130,089,69911Fox
11My Week with Marilyn$79,547209%402282$198$13,849,23914Weinstein Company
12We Bought a Zoo$79,022238%280-7$282$73,890,54810Fox
13Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$71,16014%280-297$254$31,028,14410Warner Bros.
14Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$68,35773%178-97$384$207,602,15711Paramount
15Underworld Awakening$68,156-32%260-566$262$61,975,1026Sony / Screen Gems
16The Adventures of Tintin$67,543132%272-31$248$76,694,29710Paramount
17Contraband$50,23514%197-223$255$66,051,2457Universal
18Joyful Noise$50,225230%277-63$181$30,452,9447Warner Bros.
19The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$48,772--125-64$390$101,571,87610Sony / Columbia
20War Horse$47,26054%213-181$222$78,912,89210Disney / DreamWorks
21One For the Money$39,003-46%229-704$170$25,852,4725Lionsgate
22Albert Nobbs$34,52939%100-19$345$2,516,1065Roadside Attractions
23Puss in Boots (2011)$25,53976%138-25$185$149,143,56118Paramount / DreamWorks
24Jack and Jill$19,546--109-25$179$74,096,73116Sony / Columbia

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Feb. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$40,27525%40-5$1,007$16,548,21947Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya$26,215--48--$546$26,2151UTV Communications
3Man on a Ledge$20,675-27%76-325$272$18,566,9505Lionsgate
4The Darkest Hour$17,439137%94-19$186$21,378,67610Summit
5Haywire$14,203115%37-42$384$18,801,2976Relativity Media
6Shame$12,84123%25-19$514$3,777,66413Fox Searchlight
7Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu$11,27530%35-63$322$1,102,2513UTV Communications
8Happy Feet Two$10,65846%85-50$125$63,893,36715Warner Bros.
9W.E.$8,82261%15-5$588$246,4714Weinstein Company
10Coriolanus$5,22829%8-5$654$348,3656Weinstein Company
11Undefeated$5,04465%50$1,009$55,9262Weinstein Company
12Pariah (2011)$3,41734%130$263$703,3639Focus
13The Devil Inside$2,370120%25-9$95$53,189,2468Paramount
14In the Land of Blood and Honey$8370%4-4$209$289,91510FilmDistrict