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, Jan. 28 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Jan. 28 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$1,434,173-73%3,372--$425$21,125,1291Paramount
2Silver Linings Playbook$714,473-72%2,641118$271$69,623,13911Weinstein Company
3Mama$710,725-76%2,68235$265$49,586,3102Universal
4Zero Dark Thirty$640,023-76%2,929-17$219$70,444,0026Sony / Columbia
5Parker$542,401-71%2,224--$244$7,550,6231FilmDistrict
6Django Unchained$404,948-71%2,007-509$202$146,641,7065Weinstein Company
7Gangster Squad$357,309-70%2,590-513$138$40,082,4113Warner Bros.
8Les Miserables (2012)$342,550-70%2,210-369$155$137,888,7555Universal
9Movie 43$331,833-68%2,023--$164$5,137,7111Relativity Media
10Broken City$308,318-71%2,6222$118$15,597,8652Fox
11Lincoln$291,477-73%1,909-265$153$167,343,00012Disney / DreamWorks
12The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$239,134-77%1,675-648$143$293,562,9657Warner Bros. / New Line
13A Haunted House$216,256-74%2,002-158$108$35,656,2543Open Road
14The Last Stand$180,378-71%2,9130$62$10,864,8852Lionsgate
15Parental Guidance$157,244-78%1,736-601$91$71,002,7415Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Jan. 28 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$185,708-76%941-315$197$103,613,21610Fox
2Argo$177,248-65%635-121$279$117,746,03316Warner Bros.
3The Impossible$136,467-74%782-104$175$13,433,8606Lionsgate / Summit
4Quartet$120,047-66%163131$736$1,819,9083Weinstein Company
5Jack Reacher$64,019-67%888-819$72$78,237,5016Paramount
6This is 40$48,165-68%507-725$95$66,371,8906Universal
7Race 2$47,529-81%153--$311$932,2861UTV Motion Pictures
8Wreck-It Ralph$46,468-81%588-724$79$182,531,10813Disney
9Rise of The Guardians$26,932-79%305-169$88$100,239,78910Paramount / DreamWorks
10Hyde Park on Hudson$23,893-69%144-50$166$5,335,8628Focus
11The Guilt Trip$22,471-68%352-290$64$36,262,3896Paramount
12Flight$18,848-68%263-37$72$93,469,97613Paramount
13The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$17,970-71%216-90$83$291,093,65911Lionsgate / Summit
14Red Dawn (2012)$11,072-72%205-44$54$44,548,54210FilmDistrict
15Texas Chainsaw 3D$8,647-73%285-1189$30$34,002,6114Lionsgate
16Taken 2$4,376-75%124-32$35$139,765,66017Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Jan. 28 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anna Karenina (2012)$12,418-65%98-19$127$12,445,86311Focus
2To the Arctic 3D$11,874-36%520$228$10,991,59541Warner Bros. / IMAX
3The Sessions$10,334-12%620$167$5,871,92315Fox Searchlight
4Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$9,739-71%96-169$101$12,385,9836Paramount
5The Master$8,802-59%3723$238$16,136,96920Weinstein Company
6Hitchcock$4,036-63%90-32$45$5,861,55310Fox Searchlight
7Born to Be Wild 3D$3,211-62%300$107$21,830,70295Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Pitch Perfect$2,730-73%91-34$30$64,969,58818Universal
9The Perks of Being A Wallflower$2,367-69%56-17$42$17,716,20519Lionsgate / Summit
10LUV$2,321-62%21-24$111$141,2992Indomina Media
11A Late Quartet$2,096-61%10-4$210$1,473,90113Entertainment One / RKO
12Playing For Keeps (2012)$983-58%35-23$28$12,953,5678FilmDistrict