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 Sat, Sep. 22 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Sep. 22 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1House at the End of the Street$5,378,11516%3,083--$1,744$9,999,3741Relativity Media
2Trouble with the Curve$5,310,76027%3,212--$1,653$9,482,3051Warner Bros.
3End of Watch$5,121,32611%2,730--$1,876$9,724,5171Open Road
4Finding Nemo 3D$4,514,68188%2,9040$1,555$27,456,2082Disney
5Resident Evil: Retribution$2,894,04948%3,0164$960$31,620,9942Sony / Screen Gems
6Dredd 3D$2,418,0789%2,506--$965$4,638,0211Lionsgate
7The Possession$1,247,15754%2,598-262$480$44,705,5854Lionsgate
8ParaNorman$1,126,193142%1,617-709$696$51,829,0176Focus
9Lawless$1,008,18842%2,614-449$386$33,911,0414Weinstein Company
10The Bourne Legacy$787,05064%1,431-739$550$110,059,1357Universal
11The Odd Life of Timothy Green$745,99396%1,752-663$426$48,240,0736Disney
12The Expendables 2$681,11471%1,820-1076$374$82,642,2126Lionsgate
13The Campaign$568,23951%1,250-752$455$84,725,6527Warner Bros.
14Hope Springs (2012)$403,60957%1,147-799$352$61,959,0357Sony / Columbia
152016: Obama's America$387,16234%1,216--$318$31,760,18911Rocky Mountain Pictures
16The Words$355,88555%1,247-1554$285$10,829,3363CBS Films
17Last Ounce of Courage$223,53326%1,064--$210$2,604,3692Rocky Mountain Pictures

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Sep. 22 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Master$1,946,91939%788783$2,471$4,400,1802Weinstein Company
2The Dark Knight Rises$608,41475%948-633$642$442,814,11610Warner Bros.
3Arbitrage$578,44177%24447$2,371$3,573,7602Roadside Attractions
4Barfi!$295,40777%130-2$2,272$1,796,3772UTV Communications
5Ice Age: Continental Drift$259,580115%420-121$618$158,401,76011Fox
6Premium Rush$170,98857%567-772$302$19,582,7245Sony / Columbia
7Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$162,245135%374-217$434$47,679,8278Fox
8Heroine$156,84810%114--$1,376$299,3111UTV Communications
9Total Recall (2012)$125,18449%32219$389$58,390,1118Sony / Columbia
10The Amazing Spider-Man$114,43968%253-75$452$261,406,85512Sony / Columbia
11Ted (2012)$111,34055%293-118$380$217,777,37013Universal
12Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$107,139112%240-66$446$215,830,42016Paramount / DreamWorks
13The Intouchables$89,73492%156-24$575$12,208,10718Weinstein Company
14Step Up Revolution$66,39583%182-86$365$34,922,1819Lionsgate / Summit
15Sparkle (2012)$64,05097%206-288$311$24,230,0076Sony / TriStar
16For A Good Time, Call...$62,12127%105-2$592$1,048,1674Focus
17Hit and Run$60,02146%291-360$206$13,572,0955Open Road
18Beasts of the Southern Wild$57,38074%132-80$435$10,869,62813Fox Searchlight
19Moonrise Kingdom$56,78744%120-37$473$45,129,88518Focus
20The Cold Light of Day$28,78545%155-1356$186$3,680,4533Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Sep. 22 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Perks of Being A Wallflower$86,6192%4--$21,655$171,5351Lionsgate / Summit
2My Uncle Rafael$38,84810%14--$2,775$74,2101Rocky Mountain Pictures
3To the Arctic 3D$37,89789%520$729$8,631,50523Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$33,86872%85-237$398$3,033,7973Paramount
510 Years$30,75419%4340$715$87,7592Anchor Bay Films
6The Watch$24,62066%77-61$320$34,219,1349Fox
7The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$17,78253%47-33$378$46,251,11121Fox Searchlight
8Born to Be Wild 3D$9,04548%330$274$20,879,60777Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Ruby Sparks$8,66642%43-27$202$2,473,2099Fox Searchlight
10Safety Not Guaranteed$8,40730%40-6$210$3,952,78916FilmDistrict
11Magic Mike$8,2957%55-60$151$113,705,50113Warner Bros.
12The Apparition$5,99475%35-33$171$4,858,5265Warner Bros.
13Toys in the Attic$2,50538%6--$418$46,5163Hannover House
14Husbands In Goa$2,218101%7--$317$3,3241UTV Communications
15Mugamoodi$1,218111%1-2$1,218$101,3584UTV Communications
16Cosmopolis$1,15037%9-22$128$756,9066Entertainment One Films
17Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$86581%70$124$3,370,5857ARC Entertainment
18Branded$1295%2-78$65$353,1213Roadside Attractions