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 Wed, Feb. 27 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Feb. 27 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Identity Thief$950,325-22%3,22257$295$96,728,6803Universal
2Snitch (2013)$788,254-28%2,511--$314$15,939,0171Lionsgate / Summit
3A Good Day to Die Hard$723,548-26%3,5552$204$54,423,6362Fox
4Safe Haven$668,996-24%3,2230$208$50,083,6812Relativity Media
5Silver Linings Playbook$565,909-19%2,012-190$281$108,997,65415Weinstein Company
6Escape From Planet Earth$415,494-11%3,35365$124$36,073,9642Weinstein Company
7Dark Skies$385,107-25%2,313--$166$9,535,5351Weinstein / Dimension
8Side Effects (2013)$296,970-20%2,070-535$143$26,026,3393Open Road
9Warm Bodies$266,316-14%2,644-253$101$59,082,4714Lionsgate / Summit
10Beautiful Creatures (2013)$241,265-21%2,9500$82$17,360,2672Warner Bros.
11Zero Dark Thirty$173,925-15%1,197-330$145$92,101,04410Sony / Columbia
12Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$140,745-19%1,425-678$99$53,400,7315Paramount
13Mama$75,595-7%1,163-485$65$70,463,1706Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Feb. 27 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$259,431-22%572-75$454$114,391,73114Fox
2Argo$212,098-19%802-101$264$130,354,34720Warner Bros.
3Quartet$140,141-11%35623$394$9,251,4707Weinstein Company
4Django Unchained$117,499-18%659-358$178$159,171,9489Weinstein Company
5Lincoln$109,664-16%875-132$125$178,961,42916Disney / DreamWorks
6Les Miserables (2012)$80,850-19%462-214$175$146,967,1659Universal
7The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$41,075-12%388-217$106$301,085,80711Warner Bros. / New Line
8Wreck-It Ralph$33,751-2%402-104$84$186,777,33017Disney
9Bless Me, Ultima$30,737-15%263--$117$1,047,4351Arenas Entertainment
10The Impossible$26,071-22%273-149$95$18,135,70010Lionsgate / Summit
11Kai Po Che$24,264-24%110--$221$598,2431UTV Motion Pictures
12Rise of The Guardians$19,309-6%305-33$63$102,075,54514Paramount / DreamWorks
13Parental Guidance$18,916-21%381-222$50$75,832,0589Fox
14A Haunted House$18,317-4%302-38$61$39,920,5897Open Road
15Gangster Squad$15,944-16%202-8$79$45,644,7437Warner Bros.
16The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$15,4180%223-31$69$292,169,31815Lionsgate / Summit
17The Guilt Trip$13,336-14%18698$72$37,003,07710Paramount
18Parker$11,917-24%212-493$56$17,405,5705FilmDistrict
19Jack Reacher$5,980-18%100-75$60$79,485,48010Paramount
20The Last Stand$5,406-13%11460$47$12,044,2156Lionsgate
21Bullet to the Head$3,709-18%105-365$35$9,409,3174Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Feb. 27 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hyde Park on Hudson$9,456-22%65-21$145$6,157,10612Focus
2To the Arctic 3D$6,655-19%520$128$11,407,84245Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Born to Be Wild 3D$6,19334%300$206$22,058,45099Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Stand Up Guys$5,3473%41-78$130$3,278,9434Lionsgate / Roadside
5Broken City$5,293-28%98-35$54$19,601,5816Fox
6This is 40$4,080-29%96-71$43$67,538,26510Universal
7Anna Karenina (2012)$3,533-10%28-23$126$12,812,46115Focus
8Hitchcock$3,03453%162$190$5,971,86814Fox Searchlight
9The Sessions$2,47849%160$155$5,977,82919Fox Searchlight
10Texas Chainsaw 3D$1,824-6%44-52$41$34,340,0328Lionsgate
11Movie 43$801-28%21-14$38$8,802,7755Relativity Media
12A Late Quartet$503-30%7-6$72$1,546,45517Entertainment One / RKO
13ABCD - Any Body Can Dance$503-34%9-13$56$220,2263UTV Motion Pictures
14Camp (2013)$39749%1--$397$8,9701Freestyle Releasing
15Race 2$19139%5-6$38$1,579,7195UTV Motion Pictures