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, Sep. 13 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Sep. 13 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Lawless$515,044-9%3,138250$164$25,921,7542Weinstein Company
2The Possession$480,713-2%2,83418$170$35,367,1122Lionsgate
32016: Obama's America$388,350-22%2,017270$193$28,049,0679Rocky Mountain Pictures
4The Expendables 2$376,073-1%3,260-74$115$77,259,9794Lionsgate
5The Words$335,006-6%2,801--$120$6,279,8851CBS Films
6The Bourne Legacy$317,0750%2,766-365$115$104,941,6605Universal
7Hope Springs (2012)$277,8402%2,437-4$114$58,650,1015Sony / Columbia
8The Campaign$267,158-3%2,542-399$105$80,452,1565Warner Bros.
9The Dark Knight Rises$256,085-3%1,987-200$129$438,870,6298Warner Bros.
10ParaNorman$202,0351%2,856-229$71$46,296,2464Focus
11The Odd Life of Timothy Green$184,5453%2,71782$68$43,773,6484Disney
12Premium Rush$183,908-2%2,182-73$84$17,563,8723Sony / Columbia
13The Cold Light of Day$127,405-6%1,511--$84$2,432,1841Lionsgate / Summit
14Hit and Run$106,439-6%1,810-1060$59$12,956,6813Open Road
15Marvel's The Avengers$54,1715%1,209-496$45$621,623,21919Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Sep. 13 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$220,0566%267--$824$2,435,3691Paramount
2Sparkle (2012)$57,700-6%873-384$66$23,627,0944Sony / TriStar
3Ted (2012)$48,9256%515-46$95$217,053,76011Universal
4Brave$43,07511%959-749$45$233,558,24712Disney
5Beasts of the Southern Wild$40,19012%2692$149$10,417,43311Fox Searchlight
6The Intouchables$33,4145%19419$172$11,686,57516Weinstein Company
7Ice Age: Continental Drift$31,928-2%763-273$42$157,312,0829Fox
8Moonrise Kingdom$27,3228%2003$137$44,741,58316Focus
9Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$20,730-2%931-273$22$46,832,7876Fox
10Branded$18,617-6%307--$61$324,6461Roadside Attractions
11Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$18,374-1%345-160$53$215,315,22814Paramount / DreamWorks
12The Apparition$13,20615%276-534$48$4,790,1663Warner Bros.
13The Watch$12,423-6%135-60$92$34,052,4227Fox
14The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$10,6854%1149$94$46,124,65419Fox Searchlight
15Step Up Revolution$10,283-13%198-38$52$34,533,0607Lionsgate / Summit
16Magic Mike$9,6462%202-66$48$113,615,86811Warner Bros.
17Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection$9,1700%167-12$55$65,519,79711Lionsgate
18The Oogieloves in The BIG Balloon Adventure$7,572-15%281-1879$27$1,061,5722Kenn Viselman Presents

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Sep. 13 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1For A Good Time, Call...$23,199-2%5633$414$545,0322Focus
2To the Arctic 3D$11,75910%520$226$8,439,44821Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Ruby Sparks$5,078-2%76-2$67$2,394,0527Fox Searchlight
4Cosmopolis$4,826-6%45-20$107$721,8074Entertainment One Films
5Safety Not Guaranteed$3,8340%546$71$3,890,97114FilmDistrict
6Born to Be Wild 3D$3,785-3%330$115$20,832,95875Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Prometheus$3,41311%48-7$71$126,443,71614Fox
8Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter$1,901-10%39-10$49$37,506,93512Fox
9Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$1,213-12%22--$55$3,365,8445ARC Entertainment
10Joker$1,024-6%43-31$24$168,7512UTV Communications
11Mugamoodi$409-42%17-4$24$94,7412UTV Communications
12A Cat In Paris$307265%52$61$319,15615GKIDS
13The Day$11719%2-10$59$20,9842Anchor Bay Films
14Easy Money (2012)$8774%20$44$189,1639Weinstein Company