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. 19 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Apr. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hunger Games$1,439,1788%3,916-221$368$342,400,4604Lionsgate
2The Cabin in the Woods$984,459-2%2,811--$350$19,230,1721Lionsgate
3American Reunion$752,7052%3,20311$235$43,043,7602Universal
4Titanic 3D$705,1550%2,69723$261$47,828,0172Paramount
5The Three Stooges$691,758-2%3,477--$199$20,155,4461Fox
621 Jump Street$524,6417%2,735-274$192$122,466,1815Sony / Columbia
7Wrath of the Titans$486,0653%3,102-443$157$73,310,5433Warner Bros.
8Mirror Mirror$444,2154%3,206-412$139$51,091,7533Relativity Media
9Lockout$380,964-1%2,308--$165$7,969,0321Open Road
10Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$190,1456%2,112-891$90$205,253,2657Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Apr. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$83,819-6%435-89$193$6,388,7496CBS Films
2Bully (2012)$56,5567%158152$358$1,024,6113Weinstein Company
3Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$37,4506%502-149$75$100,629,12610Warner Bros. / New Line
4John Carter$29,5119%446-569$66$68,864,2786Disney
5Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day$28,792-7%102--$282$777,8341Code Black Entertainment
6Safe House$25,97016%371-111$70$125,377,01010Universal
7Act of Valor$23,19314%352-356$66$69,341,1588Relativity Media
8This Means War$19,14313%283-38$68$53,901,5309Fox
9Jeff Who Lives at Home$18,720-1%183-264$102$3,900,6415Paramount Vantage
10Blue Like Jazz$18,383-20%136--$135$337,5591Roadside Attractions
11The Iron Lady$13,218-3%146-90$91$29,887,97916Weinstein Company
12The Artist$12,514-9%121-101$103$44,098,81921Weinstein Company
13Friends With Kids$12,1285%113-94$107$7,018,2336Roadside Attractions
14A Thousand Words$10,637-4%277-230$38$17,873,3546Paramount
15Chronicle$9,9052%1653$60$64,205,07811Fox
16Casa de mi Padre$8,82021%121-162$73$5,735,2845Lionsgate / Pantelion
17Project X (2012)$7,283-9%145-299$50$54,366,5327Warner Bros.
18Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$5,896-10%153-42$39$132,853,36218Fox
19The Woman in Black$4,8841%122-37$40$54,232,47411CBS Films
20Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$4,603-5%125-79$37$34,818,1948Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Apr. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$27,4756%400$687$18,241,82154Warner Bros. / IMAX
2We Bought a Zoo$3,9540%83-16$48$75,513,03517Fox
3Touchback$3,91312%50--$78$83,1931Anchor Bay Films
4Silent House (2012)$3,840-9%59-155$65$12,683,8536Open Road
5The Descendants$3,43513%41-37$84$82,584,16022Fox Searchlight
6Bullhead$2,752--6--$459$150,3749Drafthouse Films
7Coriolanus$2,6416%181$147$675,57613Weinstein Company
8Undefeated$2,56275%172$151$494,5979Weinstein Company
9Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$2,31512%33-12$70$43,378,28610Fox
10Red Tails$2,15510%43-12$50$49,806,63613Fox
11The Grey$2,003-3%13-54$154$51,580,13612Open Road
12W.E.$1,714-17%17-4$101$554,05411Weinstein Company
13Albert Nobbs$374-82%12-18$31$2,992,58712Roadside Attractions