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 Fri, Dec. 21 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Dec. 21 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$10,078,82752%4,10055$2,458$123,231,7272Warner Bros. / New Line
2Jack Reacher$5,021,737--3,352--$1,498$5,021,7371Paramount
3This is 40$3,714,075--2,913--$1,275$3,714,0751Universal
4Rise of The Guardians$1,566,41982%3,031-356$517$75,360,6495Paramount / DreamWorks
5The Guilt Trip$1,489,79549%2,431--$613$3,520,4091Paramount
6Lincoln$1,392,44956%2,2938$607$112,540,2737Disney / DreamWorks
7Monsters, Inc. 3D$1,390,71197%2,618--$531$2,875,6921Disney
8Skyfall$1,277,88652%2,365-559$540$276,369,6607Sony / Columbia
9Life of Pi$999,52141%1,750-798$571$73,355,7655Fox
10The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$761,51138%2,000-1042$381$279,767,2456Lionsgate / Summit
11Wreck-It Ralph$474,85234%1,444-805$329$170,397,3778Disney
12Red Dawn (2012)$244,4743%1,011-1239$242$42,076,3775FilmDistrict

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Dec. 21 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$808,188--840--$962$927,5631Paramount
2Silver Linings Playbook$439,27962%3710$1,184$18,519,3216Weinstein Company
3Argo$209,46748%450-217$465$105,745,13711Warner Bros.
4Flight$181,822-1%742-1081$245$90,461,5098Paramount
5Anna Karenina (2012)$166,63819%331-78$503$9,136,8256Focus
6Hitchcock$152,28628%535-26$285$3,767,5785Fox Searchlight
7Playing For Keeps (2012)$132,044-48%851-1989$155$12,118,4023FilmDistrict
8Hotel Transylvania$82,181--301165$273$144,033,02913Sony / Columbia
9Here Comes the Boom$59,906--291141$206$42,777,58711Sony / Columbia
10Taken 2$58,91973%275-64$214$138,324,01912Fox
11Pitch Perfect$41,73537%214-118$195$64,035,54813Universal
12Killing Them Softly$32,096-61%149-1278$215$14,655,1834Weinstein Company
13The Collection$25,132-31%112-509$224$6,755,6844LD Entertainment
14The Perks of Being A Wallflower$22,03938%14116$156$17,091,67514Lionsgate / Summit
15End of Watch$20,25061%1720$118$40,542,32214Open Road
16Looper$9,998-34%100-90$100$66,372,51513Sony / TriStar

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Dec. 21 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Zero Dark Thirty$115,47611%5--$23,095$344,4881Sony / Columbia
2Hyde Park on Hudson$90,999227%8650$1,058$619,9913Focus
3The Impossible$37,726--15--$2,515$37,7261Lionsgate / Summit
4The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$25,49936%151$1,700$540,4565Warner Bros.
5The Sessions$20,5756%98-53$210$5,304,36210Fox Searchlight
6To the Arctic 3D$13,379-2%520$257$10,274,43236Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Cloud Atlas$9,821-32%50-48$196$26,691,8939Warner Bros.
8A Late Quartet$9,48920%39-7$243$1,126,9178Entertainment One / RKO
9Talaash$7,926-31%25-88$317$2,774,0434Reliance Entertainment
10Ice Age: Continental Drift$7,8278%72-12$109$161,037,81624Fox
11Sinister$7,740-30%93-91$83$47,967,58911Lionsgate / Summit
12Alex Cross$7,214-19%94-81$77$25,781,20710Lionsgate / Summit
13Born to Be Wild 3D$5,3342%300$178$21,538,80990Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Not Fade Away$5,314--3--$1,771$5,3141Paramount Vantage
15Paranormal Activity 4$3,411-56%50-107$68$53,841,15810Paramount
16The Master$3,1113%13-1$239$15,924,99515Weinstein Company
17The Intouchables$1,870-57%7-18$267$13,087,61531Weinstein Company
18ParaNorman$1,725-36%24-37$72$55,975,31819Focus
19Arbitrage$791-43%5-5$158$7,896,37715Roadside Attractions