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 Tue, Jan. 8 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Jan. 8 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Django Unchained$2,428,06630%3,0100$807$110,580,6512Weinstein Company
2Les Miserables (2012)$1,626,24029%2,90490$560$106,392,5202Universal
3The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$1,571,27620%3,755-345$418$266,717,2814Warner Bros. / New Line
4Texas Chainsaw 3D$1,168,6812%2,654--$440$24,059,9041Lionsgate
5Jack Reacher$971,83036%3,288-64$296$66,382,7853Paramount
6This is 40$849,99035%2,93117$290$55,735,3503Universal
7Parental Guidance$666,25614%3,3681$198$53,589,0372Fox
8Lincoln$539,85331%1,901-65$284$145,040,2619Disney / DreamWorks
9The Guilt Trip$440,78531%2,312-119$191$31,887,9193Paramount
10Promised Land (2012)$362,93632%1,6761651$217$5,034,1562Focus
11Skyfall$284,47329%1,307-330$218$297,309,4839Sony / Columbia
12Monsters, Inc. 3D$239,236-11%2,103-515$114$28,490,4993Disney
13Rise of The Guardians$110,385-39%1,507-548$73$97,517,9707Paramount / DreamWorks

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Jan. 8 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$411,35542%7450$552$35,376,8708Weinstein Company
2Life of Pi$302,26134%965-213$313$91,567,7887Fox
3The Impossible$246,63014%572557$431$3,875,0693Lionsgate / Summit
4Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$119,51410%817-23$146$11,106,5493Paramount
5The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$106,6044%825-366$129$289,342,0668Lionsgate / Summit
6Hyde Park on Hudson$105,32325%222138$474$3,399,4065Focus
7Argo$79,34647%302-43$263$110,240,31213Warner Bros.
8Wreck-It Ralph$51,812-34%709-204$73$178,632,45710Disney
9Anna Karenina (2012)$51,76345%163-55$318$11,625,3448Focus
10Not Fade Away$33,25731%565546$59$475,6173Paramount Vantage
11Flight$28,97738%250-150$116$92,538,33910Paramount
12Hitchcock$18,89423%118-231$160$5,523,1577Fox Searchlight
13Taken 2$17,8967%213-19$84$139,319,43214Fox
14Cloud Atlas$14,17621%155110$91$26,929,10611Warner Bros.
15Red Dawn (2012)$13,698-3%252-173$54$43,904,9317FilmDistrict
16Pitch Perfect$10,7450%165-18$65$64,677,32815Universal
17End of Watch$7,227-5%140-22$52$40,906,65416Open Road
18Playing For Keeps (2012)$5,57219%139-129$40$12,861,8585FilmDistrict

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Jan. 8 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Zero Dark Thirty$280,75916%6055$4,679$4,928,9563Sony / Columbia
2The Perks of Being A Wallflower$9,101-2%98-27$93$17,497,37516Lionsgate / Summit
3The Sessions$7,3474%41-39$179$5,646,40912Fox Searchlight
4To the Arctic 3D$7,2552%520$140$10,674,60338Warner Bros. / IMAX
5A Late Quartet$6,751101%23-14$294$1,366,94310Entertainment One / RKO
6Killing Them Softly$4,42442%51-17$87$14,912,5216Weinstein Company
7Born to Be Wild 3D$2,8558%300$95$21,697,52692Warner Bros. / IMAX
8The Intouchables$2,59946%110$236$13,165,28033Weinstein Company
9The Master$2,07458%12-1$173$15,983,25717Weinstein Company
10Ice Age: Continental Drift$1,643-34%53-9$31$161,208,20626Fox
11Talaash$62499%8-8$78$2,871,2816Reliance Entertainment
12Arbitrage$345-1%4-3$86$7,916,51717Roadside Attractions
13Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$11752%1--$117$87,00414Roadside Attractions