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 Mon, Mar. 19 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Mar. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
121 Jump Street$3,607,564-64%3,121--$1,156$39,910,1761Sony / Columbia
2Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$1,451,065-77%3,76923$385$159,838,8403Universal
3John Carter$1,090,084-72%3,7490$291$54,317,3322Disney
4Project X (2012)$417,313-59%2,922-133$143$48,587,3183Warner Bros.
5Act of Valor$357,843-66%2,765-186$129$62,811,9094Relativity Media
6Safe House$239,845-66%1,920-224$125$120,449,7356Universal
7A Thousand Words$239,729-73%1,8955$127$12,225,4822Paramount
8Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$182,106-73%1,935-590$94$95,176,1126Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Vow$177,838-61%2,175-303$82$121,335,1966Sony / Screen Gems
10Silent House (2012)$176,069-66%2,1240$83$10,781,6132Open Road
11This Means War$172,476-63%1,660-289$104$50,714,0185Fox
12The Artist$106,934-63%1,155-350$93$42,215,30817Weinstein Company
13Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$97,067-70%1,016-500$96$32,828,3964Lionsgate
14Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance$68,953-69%1,024-780$67$49,811,2295Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Mar. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Casa de mi Padre$161,092-78%382--$422$2,448,3311Lionsgate / Pantelion
2Friends With Kids$114,457-71%640271$179$4,299,0002Roadside Attractions
3Jeff Who Lives at Home$82,592-66%254--$325$938,3011Paramount Vantage
4Wanderlust$52,350-62%698-522$75$16,796,4754Universal
5The Iron Lady$50,848-58%4569$112$28,666,60512Weinstein Company
6Hugo$46,296-69%38370$121$73,040,04917Paramount
7Chronicle$42,440-65%432-163$98$63,201,4917Fox
8The Descendants$30,668-59%347-170$88$82,026,71018Fox Searchlight
9Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$28,544-63%286-1$100$131,676,94514Fox
10Seeking Justice$26,646-66%231--$115$276,5581Anchor Bay Films
11Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$23,079-63%2290$101$208,805,88414Paramount
12Gone$22,083-57%476-668$46$11,381,7504Summit
13The Woman in Black$19,618-64%305-128$64$53,493,3847CBS Films
14We Bought a Zoo$16,614-58%188-40$88$74,925,38513Fox
15The Grey$16,454-63%21968$75$51,186,5168Open Road
16Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$13,227-73%156-102$85$43,127,9406Fox
17Big Miracle$11,800-67%236-2$50$19,804,2257Universal
18Red Tails$9,055-60%152-26$60$49,489,8209Fox
19Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$8,627-53%125-83$69$186,685,93114Warner Bros.
20One For the Money$6,734-60%11248$60$26,202,7938Lionsgate
21The Adventures of Tintin$5,514-77%123-30$45$77,569,55113Paramount
22Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$3,663-66%105-97$35$31,802,56613Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Mar. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$35,790-72%6244$577$804,7262CBS Films
2Born to Be Wild 3D$15,455-52%400$386$17,276,63850Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Being Flynn$13,179-68%8876$150$279,7073Focus
4Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$9,709-65%86-23$113$24,113,82215Focus
5Undefeated$5,324-66%218$254$336,2125Weinstein Company
6The Devil Inside$4,169-65%7767$54$53,249,22411Paramount
7Albert Nobbs$4,018-60%483$84$2,850,3468Roadside Attractions
8Coriolanus$3,563-65%212$170$534,8469Weinstein Company
9W.E.$3,255-62%20-4$163$432,2227Weinstein Company
10My Week with Marilyn$3,188-57%50-70$64$14,558,13217Weinstein Company
11Joyful Noise$2,410-68%65-38$37$30,922,57710Warner Bros.
12Haywire$1,456-65%69-13$21$18,936,3149Relativity Media