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, Nov. 29 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Nov. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$2,157,426-10%4,0700$530$237,182,5042Lionsgate / Summit
2Skyfall$1,864,2782%3,5260$529$229,029,1893Sony / Columbia
3Lincoln$1,824,2653%2,0180$904$70,189,4733Disney / DreamWorks
4Life of Pi$1,323,0590%2,92725$452$36,361,1411Fox
5Rise of The Guardians$707,0567%3,6530$194$35,447,2531Paramount / DreamWorks
6Red Dawn (2012)$667,985-1%2,72546$245$24,772,7081FilmDistrict
7Flight$545,6642%2,6380$207$76,986,8364Paramount
8Wreck-It Ralph$435,8724%3,2590$134$151,236,2634Disney
9Argo$233,2093%1,2550$186$98,980,4177Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Nov. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$364,6684%3670$994$7,649,9812Weinstein Company
2The Sessions$87,2786%5155$169$4,248,8666Fox Searchlight
3Taken 2$55,74012%76324$73$136,695,5798Fox
4Cloud Atlas$37,2188%2580$144$25,938,1175Warner Bros.
5Pitch Perfect$36,90015%492-5$75$62,712,1739Universal
6Looper$31,4994%2930$108$65,715,1759Sony / TriStar
7The Perks of Being A Wallflower$29,29317%2420$121$16,428,55910Lionsgate / Summit
8Here Comes the Boom$22,0877%490-860$45$42,127,4537Sony / Columbia
9The Man With the Iron Fists$19,5005%2050$95$15,283,9454Universal
10Hotel Transylvania$13,45011%464-784$29$143,555,5259Sony / Columbia
11Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$9,6396%190-266$51$17,414,5315Open Road
12Alex Cross$6,80112%1440$47$25,433,0766Lionsgate / Summit
13The Dark Knight Rises$6,51861%108-52$60$448,052,93119Warner Bros.
14Sinister$5,8073%1270$46$47,729,3277Lionsgate / Summit
15Trouble with the Curve$5,742-7%1400$41$35,686,63610Warner Bros.
16House at the End of the Street$4,8325%1380$35$31,507,59910Relativity Media
17Paranormal Activity 4$4,13811%1080$38$53,691,7726Paramount
18ParaNorman$4,079-5%134-39$30$55,813,16515Focus
19Fun Size$3,9097%144-244$27$9,314,1755Paramount
20Ice Age: Continental Drift$3,56230%109-7$33$160,832,22920Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Nov. 29 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anna Karenina (2012)$91,4889%663$1,386$1,861,3512Focus
2Hitchcock$24,3825%17--$1,434$378,8821Fox Searchlight
3A Late Quartet$15,05215%88-12$171$784,1544Entertainment One / RKO
4To the Arctic 3D$11,354-20%520$218$10,000,05332Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Seven Psychopaths$10,156-24%824$124$14,676,5097CBS Films
6Chasing Mavericks$5,29319%60-15$88$5,789,1365Fox
7The Master$4,09440%250$164$15,855,83011Weinstein Company
8Born to Be Wild 3D$3,658-16%300$122$21,391,94286Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Arbitrage$3,407-19%48-32$71$7,830,94711Roadside Attractions
10End of Watch$3,34723%34-41$98$39,203,74810Open Road
11The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$3,010146%150$201$114,2041Warner Bros.
12This Must Be the Place$1,67211%80$209$121,8144Weinstein Company
13The Intouchables$1,3281%260$51$13,034,52827Weinstein Company
14Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$757-36%59-3$13$48,941,08117Fox
15Atlas Shrugged: Part 2$58019%3520$17$3,336,0537Atlas Distribution
16Lawless$503-44%110$46$37,400,12713Weinstein Company