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 Thu, Mar. 29 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Mar. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hunger Games$8,173,4002%4,137--$1,976$189,932,8381Lionsgate
221 Jump Street$1,926,0798%3,1210$617$78,052,6242Sony / Columbia
3Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$1,047,94510%3,677-92$285$181,547,8004Universal
4John Carter$436,6513%3,212-537$136$64,204,3393Disney
5Act of Valor$215,31710%2,219-546$97$66,743,4945Relativity Media
6Project X (2012)$191,3445%2,065-857$93$52,546,7764Warner Bros.
7A Thousand Words$160,4376%1,787-108$90$15,605,4813Paramount
8Safe House$133,0255%1,330-590$100$123,101,7307Universal
9Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$122,1722%1,340-595$91$97,645,2077Warner Bros. / New Line
10This Means War$103,04711%1,188-472$87$52,659,2896Fox
11The Vow$101,35120%1,258-917$81$123,143,2167Sony / Screen Gems
12Silent House (2012)$57,4447%1,202-922$48$12,195,8773Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Mar. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Casa de mi Padre$97,4188%47593$205$4,421,5992Lionsgate / Pantelion
2Friends With Kids$86,1153%558-82$154$5,865,8753Roadside Attractions
3Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$66,3430%12462$535$1,896,9793CBS Films
4Jeff Who Lives at Home$59,8944%2540$236$2,014,0782Paramount Vantage
5The Artist$59,004-2%576-579$102$43,266,77318Weinstein Company
6Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$46,32414%621-395$75$34,131,8325Lionsgate
7The Iron Lady$36,0415%327-129$110$29,232,79313Weinstein Company
8Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$33,1767%248-38$134$132,143,49615Fox
9Hugo$28,422-3%283-100$100$73,558,56018Paramount
10Chronicle$25,00413%292-140$86$63,625,2008Fox
11The Descendants$18,41310%199-148$93$82,348,77619Fox Searchlight
12We Bought a Zoo$17,97313%155-33$116$75,171,29814Fox
13Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$16,7007%200-29$84$209,132,47215Paramount
14Wanderlust$16,3357%235-463$70$17,181,4505Universal
15The Grey$13,8472%204-15$68$51,413,7739Open Road
16Big Miracle$13,4409%224-12$60$20,017,9058Universal
17The Woman in Black$12,26518%180-125$68$53,792,9768CBS Films
18Red Tails$11,46613%131-21$88$49,643,57810Fox
19One For the Money$8,94816%15139$59$26,333,1619Lionsgate
20Gone$6,4463%183-293$35$11,552,6375Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Mar. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$29,55512%400$739$17,560,28851Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Being Flynn$8,525-7%73-15$117$437,7574Focus
3Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$7,66819%74-82$104$43,247,4077Fox
4Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$7,53410%86-39$88$186,792,89315Warner Bros.
5Albert Nobbs$4,712-16%44-4$107$2,913,9969Roadside Attractions
6Undefeated$4,30632%17-4$253$392,5486Weinstein Company
7Seeking Justice$3,984-5%74-157$54$406,9482Anchor Bay Films
8Coriolanus$3,038-2%19-2$160$581,40010Weinstein Company
9Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$3,0297%50-55$61$31,847,88114Warner Bros.
10W.E.$2,5979%18-2$144$471,6438Weinstein Company
11My Week with Marilyn$2,38930%44-6$54$14,590,15318Weinstein Company