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 Mon, Dec. 31 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Dec. 31 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$6,919,722-29%4,1000$1,688$228,546,6043Warner Bros. / New Line
2Les Miserables (2012)$6,247,080-24%2,814--$2,220$72,967,2401Universal
3Django Unchained$5,162,458-43%3,010--$1,715$68,605,6111Weinstein Company
4Parental Guidance$4,650,60512%3,367--$1,381$33,993,3501Fox
5Jack Reacher$3,393,293-12%3,3520$1,012$47,550,6422Paramount
6This is 40$2,520,610-32%2,9141$865$38,951,9602Universal
7Lincoln$2,321,9386%1,966-327$1,181$134,189,0978Disney / DreamWorks
8The Guilt Trip$1,813,103-8%2,4310$746$22,770,9212Paramount
9Monsters, Inc. 3D$1,440,079-23%2,6180$550$20,013,9802Disney
10Skyfall$1,345,069-2%1,637-728$822$290,904,2718Sony / Columbia
11Rise of The Guardians$1,198,238-13%2,055-976$583$91,337,6596Paramount / DreamWorks
12Life of Pi$989,363-17%1,178-572$840$85,639,8166Fox
13The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$383,828-47%1,191-809$322$286,422,8937Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Dec. 31 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$1,128,950-11%745374$1,515$28,458,9867Weinstein Company
2Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$663,915-15%8400$790$8,090,8412Paramount
3Wreck-It Ralph$484,687-8%913-531$531$175,990,0199Disney
4Argo$294,960-4%345-105$855$108,720,92012Warner Bros.
5Anna Karenina (2012)$119,139-32%218-113$547$10,825,0057Focus
6Hotel Transylvania$111,374-31%3010$370$145,321,69014Sony / Columbia
7Hitchcock$105,528-13%349-186$302$5,091,2076Fox Searchlight
8Flight$105,315-17%400-342$263$91,978,5519Paramount
9Red Dawn (2012)$74,300-38%425-586$175$43,468,0526FilmDistrict
10Here Comes the Boom$67,567-26%252-39$268$43,599,65612Sony / Columbia
11Taken 2$38,885-43%232-43$168$138,936,37913Fox
12Playing For Keeps (2012)$30,240-15%268-583$113$12,717,9174FilmDistrict
13Pitch Perfect$23,790-48%183-31$130$64,427,36814Universal
14The Perks of Being A Wallflower$16,228-46%125-16$130$17,328,05715Lionsgate / Summit
15End of Watch$12,088-55%162-10$75$40,766,73415Open Road

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Dec. 31 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hyde Park on Hudson$151,9014%84-2$1,808$1,889,8974Focus
2Zero Dark Thirty$73,746-33%50$14,749$1,442,7322Sony / Columbia
3Promised Land (2012)$52,4458%25--$2,098$226,3601Focus
4The Impossible$45,880-24%150$3,059$528,8032Lionsgate / Summit
5To the Arctic 3D$22,497-36%520$433$10,518,62537Warner Bros. / IMAX
6Not Fade Away$16,517-6%1916$869$112,3242Paramount Vantage
7The Sessions$14,609-39%80-18$183$5,529,31011Fox Searchlight
8A Late Quartet$13,809-25%37-2$373$1,280,9639Entertainment One / RKO
9Ice Age: Continental Drift$9,543-18%62-10$154$161,139,59925Fox
10Born to Be Wild 3D$9,006-29%300$300$21,632,59191Warner Bros. / IMAX
11Looper$6,727-45%84-16$80$66,475,04214Sony / TriStar
12Killing Them Softly$6,009-51%68-81$88$14,836,6305Weinstein Company
13Alex Cross$5,573-46%77-17$72$25,869,48811Lionsgate / Summit
14The Intouchables$5,262-8%114$478$13,132,20332Weinstein Company
15Sinister$4,616-63%82-11$56$48,061,55612Lionsgate / Summit
16Cloud Atlas$3,867-59%45-5$86$26,785,67310Warner Bros.
17The Master$2,905-33%130$223$15,959,56716Weinstein Company
18Talaash$2,865-49%16-9$179$2,854,0095Reliance Entertainment
19Paranormal Activity 4$2,173-66%500$43$53,886,99411Paramount
20The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$1,916-13%150$128$667,3426Warner Bros.
21ParaNorman$1,431-41%22-1$65$55,995,98820Focus
22Arbitrage$880-63%72$126$7,909,61316Roadside Attractions