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, Jan. 31 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jan. 31 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$1,220,0484%3,372--$362$25,252,7941Paramount
2Silver Linings Playbook$848,7415%2,641118$321$72,264,55811Weinstein Company
3Zero Dark Thirty$655,4716%2,929-17$224$72,497,5506Sony / Columbia
4Mama$603,4505%2,68235$225$51,532,1002Universal
5Parker$478,788-2%2,224--$215$9,224,8821FilmDistrict
6Django Unchained$418,9016%2,007-509$209$147,940,1895Weinstein Company
7Les Miserables (2012)$386,7506%2,210-369$175$139,083,2455Universal
8Gangster Squad$362,1543%2,590-513$140$41,249,0583Warner Bros.
9Lincoln$338,8669%1,909-265$178$168,374,51812Disney / DreamWorks
10Broken City$321,9400%2,6222$123$16,674,0902Fox
11Movie 43$264,689-4%2,023--$131$6,058,2741Relativity Media
12The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$241,0409%1,675-648$144$294,292,5207Warner Bros. / New Line
13A Haunted House$184,0266%2,002-158$92$36,233,9033Open Road
14The Last Stand$166,425-3%2,9130$57$11,433,6422Lionsgate
15Parental Guidance$133,48810%1,736-601$77$71,411,8245Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jan. 31 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$192,4944%941-315$205$104,233,73110Fox
2Argo$192,2523%635-121$303$118,342,81516Warner Bros.
3Quartet$150,6740%163131$924$2,290,1733Weinstein Company
4The Impossible$148,2264%782-104$190$13,908,6316Lionsgate / Summit
5Jack Reacher$62,0727%888-819$70$78,426,3956Paramount
6This is 40$55,770-4%507-725$110$66,551,8756Universal
7Hyde Park on Hudson$31,75519%144-50$221$5,422,9808Focus
8Race 2$31,212-26%153--$204$1,086,5821UTV Motion Pictures
9Wreck-It Ralph$31,023-1%588-724$53$182,629,64213Disney
10The Guilt Trip$25,7493%352-290$73$36,344,9046Paramount
11Flight$19,2494%263-37$73$93,528,56013Paramount
12The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$18,29513%216-90$85$291,145,09011Lionsgate / Summit
13Rise of The Guardians$15,8796%305-169$52$100,291,75410Paramount / DreamWorks
14Red Dawn (2012)$11,47911%205-44$56$44,581,67010FilmDistrict
15Texas Chainsaw 3D$9,3369%285-1189$33$34,030,4134Lionsgate
16Taken 2$4,5965%124-32$37$139,779,29317Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jan. 31 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Sound City$120,514--50--$2,410$120,5140Variance Films
2Anna Karenina (2012)$17,42417%98-19$178$12,495,48411Focus
3To the Arctic 3D$10,255-16%520$197$11,024,53841Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$8,912-8%96-169$93$12,415,3696Paramount
5The Master$6,925-16%3723$187$16,160,30420Weinstein Company
6The Sessions$4,966-7%620$80$5,887,69515Fox Searchlight
7Born to Be Wild 3D$4,3663%300$146$21,842,68895Warner Bros. / IMAX
8Hitchcock$4,33525%90-32$48$5,874,77210Fox Searchlight
9The Perks of Being A Wallflower$3,13130%56-17$56$17,724,24819Lionsgate / Summit
10A Late Quartet$2,470-25%10-4$247$1,482,30213Entertainment One / RKO
11Pitch Perfect$2,3001%91-34$25$64,976,85818Universal
12LUV$1,73841%21-24$83$146,0892Indomina Media
13Playing For Keeps (2012)$1,161-6%35-23$33$12,957,5358FilmDistrict