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 Wed, Nov. 28 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Nov. 28 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$2,384,280-12%4,0700$586$235,025,0782Lionsgate / Summit
2Skyfall$1,823,066-20%3,5260$517$227,164,9113Sony / Columbia
3Lincoln$1,771,896-11%2,0180$878$68,365,2083Disney / DreamWorks
4Life of Pi$1,321,728-26%2,92725$452$35,038,0821Fox
5Red Dawn (2012)$675,154-27%2,72546$248$24,104,7231FilmDistrict
6Rise of The Guardians$658,847-27%3,6530$180$34,740,1971Paramount / DreamWorks
7Flight$533,341-18%2,6380$202$76,411,1724Paramount
8Wreck-It Ralph$419,009-23%3,2590$129$150,800,3914Disney
9Argo$226,136-8%1,2550$180$98,747,2087Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Nov. 28 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$350,835-12%3670$956$7,285,3132Weinstein Company
2The Sessions$82,2301%5155$160$4,161,5886Fox Searchlight
3Taken 2$49,663-16%76324$65$136,639,8398Fox
4Cloud Atlas$34,455-17%2580$134$25,900,8995Warner Bros.
5Pitch Perfect$32,005-19%492-5$65$62,675,2739Universal
6Looper$30,172-19%2930$103$65,683,6769Sony / TriStar
7The Perks of Being A Wallflower$25,068-8%2420$104$16,399,26610Lionsgate / Summit
8Here Comes the Boom$20,654-18%490-860$42$42,105,3667Sony / Columbia
9The Man With the Iron Fists$18,505-25%2050$90$15,264,4454Universal
10Hotel Transylvania$12,125-22%464-784$26$143,542,0759Sony / Columbia
11Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$9,094-9%190-266$48$17,404,8925Open Road
12Trouble with the Curve$6,165-8%1400$44$35,680,89410Warner Bros.
13Alex Cross$6,083-29%1440$42$25,426,2756Lionsgate / Summit
14Sinister$5,651-11%1270$44$47,723,5207Lionsgate / Summit
15House at the End of the Street$4,611-5%1380$33$31,502,76710Relativity Media
16ParaNorman$4,2761%134-39$32$55,809,08615Focus
17The Dark Knight Rises$4,055-6%108-52$38$448,046,41319Warner Bros.
18Paranormal Activity 4$3,718-2%1080$34$53,687,6346Paramount
19Fun Size$3,651-13%144-244$25$9,310,2665Paramount
20Ice Age: Continental Drift$2,749-36%109-7$25$160,828,66720Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Nov. 28 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anna Karenina (2012)$83,8252%663$1,270$1,769,8632Focus
2Hitchcock$23,1136%17--$1,360$354,5001Fox Searchlight
3To the Arctic 3D$14,25461%520$274$9,988,69932Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Seven Psychopaths$13,43414%824$164$14,666,3537CBS Films
5A Late Quartet$13,05422%88-12$148$769,1024Entertainment One / RKO
6Chasing Mavericks$4,44816%60-15$74$5,783,8435Fox
7Born to Be Wild 3D$4,354-4%300$145$21,388,28486Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Arbitrage$4,2086%48-32$88$7,827,54011Roadside Attractions
9The Master$2,931-14%250$117$15,851,73611Weinstein Company
10End of Watch$2,721-12%34-41$80$39,200,40110Open Road
11This Must Be the Place$1,50825%80$189$120,1424Weinstein Company
12The Intouchables$1,31219%260$50$13,033,20027Weinstein Company
13The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$1,22654%15--$82$111,1941Warner Bros.
14Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$1,1744%59-3$20$48,940,32417Fox
15Lawless$891-20%110$81$37,399,62413Weinstein Company
16Atlas Shrugged: Part 2$489-25%3520$14$3,335,4737Atlas Distribution