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 Wed, Feb. 29 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Feb. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Act of Valor$1,546,735-22%3,039--$509$29,963,3691Relativity Media
2Safe House$762,845-21%3,052-69$250$100,170,9703Universal
3Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$611,465-33%2,132--$287$18,061,4861Lionsgate
4The Vow$591,247-29%3,03880$195$104,954,2473Sony / Screen Gems
5This Means War$543,858-21%3,1890$171$35,252,9262Fox
6Wanderlust$490,490-21%2,002--$245$8,150,8201Universal
7Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance$475,421-23%3,1740$150$39,663,3962Sony / Columbia
8Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$462,152-24%3,350-150$138$78,211,4563Warner Bros. / New Line
9Gone$257,718-31%2,186--$118$5,678,1881Summit
10Chronicle$215,615-14%1,797-759$120$58,686,0294Fox
11The Secret World of Arrietty$180,362-13%1,5220$119$15,081,9592Disney
12Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$157,979-8%1,618-1037$98$40,939,4093Fox
13The Woman in Black$147,585-13%1,727-832$85$50,919,3524CBS Films

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Feb. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Artist$326,346-19%966158$338$32,861,97114Weinstein Company
2Hugo$158,351-23%501-57$316$69,909,83014Paramount
3The Descendants$150,695-16%889-354$170$78,948,14815Fox Searchlight
4The Iron Lady$102,236-16%522-101$196$26,050,4489Weinstein Company
5The Grey$70,123-8%917-1190$76$50,397,1165Open Road
6Red Tails$47,3231%489-520$97$48,797,1656Fox
7Big Miracle$37,680-8%628-1006$60$19,016,6204Universal
8My Week with Marilyn$33,116-12%402282$82$14,176,49814Weinstein Company
9Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$30,963-13%164-20$189$23,372,26712Focus
10Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$29,401-14%333-70$88$185,980,95811Warner Bros.
11Underworld Awakening$22,568-16%260-566$87$62,223,1006Sony / Screen Gems
12Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$20,871-26%178-97$117$207,839,00211Paramount
13War Horse$18,697-17%213-181$88$79,101,10110Disney / DreamWorks
14The Adventures of Tintin$18,636-18%272-31$69$76,961,70910Paramount
15Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$17,516-20%311-89$56$130,440,83411Fox
16Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$17,496-13%280-297$62$31,272,13510Warner Bros.
17Contraband$15,760-11%197-223$80$66,223,6207Universal
18Joyful Noise$15,377-20%277-63$56$30,635,0467Warner Bros.
19We Bought a Zoo$14,876-17%280-7$53$74,145,52510Fox
20Albert Nobbs$11,912-7%100-19$119$2,646,4445Roadside Attractions
21One For the Money$11,345-16%229-704$50$25,986,3535Lionsgate
22Puss in Boots (2011)$6,165-10%138-25$45$149,253,69418Paramount / DreamWorks

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Feb. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$21,91614%40-5$548$16,677,72947Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya$6,312-41%48--$132$117,7671UTV Communications
3W.E.$5,00315%15-5$334$278,9794Weinstein Company
4Man on a Ledge$4,8764%76-325$64$18,614,4185Lionsgate
5The Darkest Hour$4,713-10%94-19$50$21,441,64410Summit
6Shame$4,5805%25-19$183$3,821,80713Fox Searchlight
7Haywire$3,964-15%37-42$107$18,838,8556Relativity Media
8Happy Feet Two$3,079-14%85-50$36$63,945,05515Warner Bros.
9Undefeated$2,582-17%50$516$79,2542Weinstein Company
10Pariah (2011)$2,22773%130$171$717,1989Focus
11Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu$2,041-35%35-63$58$1,137,9363UTV Communications
12Coriolanus$1,914-20%8-5$239$371,0916Weinstein Company
13The Devil Inside$688-9%25-9$28$53,196,0068Paramount
14In the Land of Blood and Honey$485-17%4-4$121$294,35110FilmDistrict