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, Apr. 5 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Apr. 5 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hunger Games$6,399,75839%4,1370$1,547$269,339,1652Lionsgate
2Titanic 3D$3,660,144-16%2,674--$1,369$8,360,4820Paramount
3Wrath of the Titans$2,658,17918%3,545--$750$43,882,0911Warner Bros.
4Mirror Mirror$2,175,38731%3,603--$604$25,678,1021Relativity Media
521 Jump Street$2,010,07738%3,14827$639$99,412,3823Sony / Columbia
6Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$1,137,75028%3,075-602$370$193,174,3505Universal
7John Carter$246,43427%1,807-1405$136$67,153,3474Disney
8Act of Valor$147,24623%1,239-980$119$68,233,2076Relativity Media
9A Thousand Words$128,55023%1,007-780$128$16,943,8794Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Apr. 5 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$127,5951%483359$264$3,664,0014CBS Films
2Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$118,33842%908-432$130$98,848,6768Warner Bros. / New Line
3Project X (2012)$104,37728%903-1162$116$53,734,7785Warner Bros.
4Safe House$83,97035%622-708$135$124,170,1608Universal
5Jeff Who Lives at Home$77,68014%513259$151$2,981,8703Paramount Vantage
6Casa de mi Padre$56,30125%439-36$128$5,228,9853Lionsgate / Pantelion
7The Vow$48,33234%514-744$94$123,628,9818Sony / Screen Gems
8Friends With Kids$46,81222%306-252$153$6,503,0594Roadside Attractions
9This Means War$44,40527%449-739$99$53,240,1487Fox
10Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$42,8612%222-26$193$132,515,93516Fox
11The Artist$31,6052%315-261$100$43,666,49019Weinstein Company
12Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$28,49924%321-300$89$34,505,4146Lionsgate
13The Iron Lady$28,155-9%284-43$99$29,522,00514Weinstein Company
14Silent House (2012)$21,66744%325-877$67$12,440,0834Open Road
15Chronicle$20,23917%189-103$107$63,830,6539Fox
16We Bought a Zoo$19,78819%123-32$161$75,349,58715Fox
17The Woman in Black$18,02028%179-1$101$54,005,6039CBS Films
18Hugo$16,62614%174-109$96$73,751,68319Paramount
19Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$16,46124%150-50$110$209,294,76216Paramount
20Big Miracle$12,74525%170-54$75$20,157,3009Universal
21The Descendants$10,8045%118-81$92$82,476,56520Fox Searchlight
22The Grey$9,82534%2040$48$51,507,03910Open Road
23Wanderlust$9,28033%116-119$80$17,288,1556Universal
24One For the Money$5,54524%102-49$54$26,388,78910Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Apr. 5 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$37,4229%400$936$17,788,52252Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Bully (2012)$15,35965%5--$3,072$160,4101Weinstein Company
3Red Tails$7,34917%83-48$89$49,734,24411Fox
4Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$5,68139%55-31$103$186,848,41816Warner Bros.
5Undefeated$4,67461%16-1$292$436,8267Weinstein Company
6Being Flynn$3,85421%40-33$96$495,3035Focus
7Gone$3,633103%61-122$60$11,596,6996Summit
8W.E.$3,48962%213$166$501,7759Weinstein Company
9Coriolanus$2,69321%16-3$168$609,19911Weinstein Company
10Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$2,17210%20-54$109$43,283,0708Fox
11Albert Nobbs$1,697-33%29-15$59$2,950,50610Roadside Attractions
12My Week with Marilyn$648-24%12-32$54$14,600,34719Weinstein Company