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, Aug. 19 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Aug. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Expendables 2$7,886,826-23%3,316--$2,378$28,591,3701Lionsgate
2The Bourne Legacy$4,672,485-34%3,7538$1,245$69,618,4652Universal
3ParaNorman$4,055,734-25%3,429--$1,183$14,087,0501Focus
4The Campaign$3,721,303-29%3,25550$1,143$51,435,8262Warner Bros.
5The Dark Knight Rises$3,321,207-27%3,157-533$1,052$409,787,2605Warner Bros.
6The Odd Life of Timothy Green$3,136,376-27%2,598--$1,207$15,100,9181Disney
7Sparkle (2012)$2,820,133-34%2,244--$1,257$11,643,3421Sony / TriStar
8Hope Springs (2012)$2,481,251-36%2,3610$1,051$35,063,3212Sony / Columbia
9Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$1,070,740-33%2,737-664$391$38,747,0583Fox
10Total Recall (2012)$980,264-31%2,434-1167$403$51,755,2723Sony / Columbia
11Ice Age: Continental Drift$906,867-28%2,274-829$399$150,191,9236Fox
12Ted (2012)$379,925-44%1,169-1039$325$213,064,3858Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Aug. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ek Tha Tiger$419,9890%118--$3,559$1,484,4041Yash Raj Films
2Step Up Revolution$292,402-32%905-993$323$32,776,5884Lionsgate / Summit
3Brave$253,381-25%641-618$395$229,121,3039Disney
4The Amazing Spider-Man$214,737-32%598-987$359$257,435,3257Sony / Columbia
5Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$212,726-27%406100$524$212,684,70011Paramount / DreamWorks
6Beasts of the Southern Wild$164,106-33%236-50$695$8,110,9698Fox Searchlight
7Moonrise Kingdom$149,201-30%282-165$529$42,966,19313Focus
8The Watch$120,825-44%513-1950$236$33,062,5994Fox
9The Intouchables$108,177-35%1940$558$9,885,07413Weinstein Company
10Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$95,355-23%424-376$225$3,077,9612ARC Entertainment
11Men in Black 3$89,202-29%258-37$346$178,127,91913Sony / Columbia
12Ruby Sparks$85,129-36%218-43$391$1,796,5974Fox Searchlight
13The Hunger Games$54,414-35%230-30$237$407,688,21222Lionsgate
14Snow White and the Huntsman$53,680-39%244-29$220$154,660,66012Universal
15Magic Mike$50,359-38%255-195$197$112,720,1828Warner Bros.
16Savages$33,110-20%154-164$215$47,057,9357Universal
17The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$31,622-30%128-56$247$45,592,32816Fox Searchlight
18Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection$24,997-53%199-165$126$64,958,4258Lionsgate
19Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter$22,237-28%105-25$212$37,307,1119Fox
20Prometheus$22,191-28%101-40$220$126,195,33911Fox
21Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D$19,753-17%140-62$141$25,240,9887Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Aug. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1To the Arctic 3D$45,179-25%520$869$7,656,27418Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Cosmopolis$18,558-28%3--$6,186$266,9121Entertainment One Films
3Born to Be Wild 3D$13,608-25%330$412$20,580,46372Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Safety Not Guaranteed$11,900-32%54-19$220$3,683,59311FilmDistrict
5Easy Money (2012)$4,197-23%5-2$839$165,7866Weinstein Company
6A Cat In Paris$1,082-11%7-5$155$294,38612GKIDS