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, Mar. 11 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Mar. 11 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$11,369,110-37%3,74617$3,035$121,724,8502Universal
2John Carter$8,040,836-35%3,749--$2,145$30,180,1881Disney
3Project X (2012)$2,724,497-38%3,0550$892$39,717,0982Warner Bros.
4Act of Valor$1,878,707-39%2,951-102$637$56,092,4743Relativity Media
5A Thousand Words$1,540,527-43%1,890--$815$6,176,2801Paramount
6Silent House (2012)$1,332,039-50%2,124--$627$6,661,2341Open Road
7Safe House$1,221,880-45%2,144-409$570$115,605,3255Universal
8Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$1,047,949-38%2,525-535$415$90,641,9995Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Vow$866,512-49%2,478-348$350$117,456,2315Sony / Screen Gems
10This Means War$845,763-50%1,949-393$434$46,895,4104Fox
11Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$706,664-49%1,516-616$466$30,446,4533Lionsgate
12Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance$533,103-41%1,804-683$296$48,065,2704Sony / Columbia
13The Artist$526,750-46%1,505-251$350$40,234,93316Weinstein Company
14Wanderlust$403,195-46%1,220-782$330$15,517,7653Universal
15Gone$185,824-54%1,144-1042$162$10,727,0703Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Mar. 11 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Friends With Kids$511,474-44%369--$1,386$2,019,0831Roadside Attractions
2Chronicle$236,387-43%595-459$397$62,267,4416Fox
3Hugo$173,154-42%313-93$553$72,269,11916Paramount
4The Descendants$164,104-50%517-177$317$81,454,62417Fox Searchlight
5The Iron Lady$145,998-46%447-64$327$27,931,79111Weinstein Company
6The Secret World of Arrietty$140,785-28%501-930$281$17,572,9654Disney
7The Woman in Black$109,725-51%433-379$253$53,031,2836CBS Films
8Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$107,972-32%258-473$418$42,845,7545Fox
9Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$82,187-39%287-27$286$131,187,52513Fox
10Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$81,008-43%229122$354$208,394,55413Paramount
11We Bought a Zoo$50,072-43%228-38$220$74,669,87712Fox
12The Adventures of Tintin$44,413-30%153-62$290$77,384,66712Paramount
13The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$42,861-48%211-45$203$102,363,77112Sony / Columbia
14Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$41,197-53%109-17$378$23,922,14414Focus
15Big Miracle$36,905-49%238-121$155$19,594,7656Universal
16Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$36,098-50%208-58$174$186,523,36613Warner Bros.
17The Grey$35,981-34%151-157$238$50,960,0417Open Road
18Red Tails$30,171-42%178-71$170$49,343,1888Fox
19Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$29,006-43%202-101$144$31,711,09312Warner Bros.
20My Week with Marilyn$23,853-38%1200$199$14,486,30316Weinstein Company
21Contraband$23,800-30%119-29$200$66,489,4259Universal
22Joyful Noise$16,214-37%103-99$157$30,867,7069Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Mar. 11 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$60,707-43%18--$3,373$225,8941CBS Films
2Born to Be Wild 3D$32,790-32%400$820$17,007,78049Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Undefeated$16,794-38%130$1,292$254,3884Weinstein Company
4Coriolanus$13,909-37%195$732$474,7908Weinstein Company
5Being Flynn$12,148-41%128$1,012$102,9862Focus
6Haywire$11,628-34%8250$142$18,898,1798Relativity Media
7W.E.$11,218-28%245$467$384,9626Weinstein Company
8Albert Nobbs$10,926-37%45-23$243$2,791,4087Roadside Attractions
9One For the Money$8,856-42%64-53$138$26,119,7687Lionsgate
10Pariah (2011)$6,348-29%196$334$758,09911Focus
11Shame$5,609-45%20-2$280$3,896,10115Fox Searchlight
12Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya$2,79820%10-16$280$171,7763UTV Communications
13Paan Singh Tomar$2,205-34%5-5$441$33,9132UTV Communications
14The Devil Inside$404-56%10-7$40$53,205,75910Paramount
15Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu$371-60%4-21$93$1,153,3605UTV Communications