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, Mar. 14 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Mar. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Oz: The Great and Powerful$5,128,7740%3,912--$1,311$102,803,6241Disney
2Jack the Giant Slayer$952,1143%3,5250$270$47,693,3732Warner Bros. / New Line
3Identity Thief$645,4302%3,002-228$215$119,186,8655Universal
421 And Over$535,5730%2,7710$193$19,248,7732Relativity Media
5Escape From Planet Earth$506,2717%2,549-561$199$49,838,5814Weinstein Company
6Snitch (2013)$449,1791%2,340-171$192$33,757,2773Lionsgate / Summit
7Safe Haven$409,5368%2,541-410$161$64,457,8104Relativity Media
8Dead Man Down$389,456-7%2,188--$178$7,247,3401FilmDistrict
9Silver Linings Playbook$341,4464%1,727-109$198$122,026,17917Weinstein Company
10A Good Day to Die Hard$224,5253%1,725-864$130$64,314,1474Fox
11The Last Exorcism Part II$222,462-1%2,7000$82$13,105,1042CBS Films
12Dark Skies$130,4623%1,505-808$87$16,102,5113Weinstein / Dimension
13Warm Bodies$107,9735%1,052-878$103$64,010,9106Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Mar. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$182,5097%67145$272$120,120,13416Fox
2Quartet$153,9111%715-10$215$13,896,8929Weinstein Company
3Argo$93,1547%741-244$126$134,669,04422Warner Bros.
4Side Effects (2013)$89,6582%602-510$149$29,939,2135Open Road
5Emperor$83,684-7%261--$321$1,403,0631Roadside Attractions
6Zero Dark Thirty$60,1751%522-200$115$94,882,72312Sony / Columbia
7The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$51,5068%337127$153$302,075,20313Warner Bros. / New Line
8Django Unchained$47,3893%336-647$141$161,300,52711Weinstein Company
9Lincoln$45,72610%432-220$106$181,012,58618Disney / DreamWorks
10Les Miserables (2012)$38,50512%286-66$135$148,281,97511Universal
11Rise of The Guardians$38,3922%275-20$140$102,831,03616Paramount / DreamWorks
12Parental Guidance$27,4538%219-39$125$76,390,89511Fox
13Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$21,5547%225-376$96$54,580,8447Paramount
14Beautiful Creatures (2013)$21,4052%281-794$76$19,101,4854Warner Bros.
15Mama$17,22524%214-233$80$71,182,5258Universal
16Jack Reacher$15,7696%194-31$81$79,954,11312Paramount
17The Impossible$10,897-2%114-37$96$18,530,56112Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Mar. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Girl Rising$35,68067%18-51$1,982$363,9061Gathr Films
2To the Arctic 3D$17,255-8%520$332$11,632,81047Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Stoker$13,1996%1710$776$380,7962Fox Searchlight
4Born to Be Wild 3D$12,5882%300$420$22,167,412101Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Bless Me, Ultima$8,06413%52-131$155$1,417,3323Arenas Entertainment
6Gangster Squad$7,309-5%90-48$81$45,887,0989Warner Bros.
7Hyde Park on Hudson$7,144-4%391$183$6,314,31714Focus
8The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone$5,169-6%56-12$92$257,2142Methinx Entertainment
9Kai Po Che$4,316-29%71-33$61$1,036,3193UTV Motion Pictures
10Movie 43$3,0054%6346$48$8,840,4537Relativity Media
11Le Petit Soldat (2013 re-issue)$2,72420%1--$2,724$16,0081Rialto Pictures
12Bullet to the Head$1,59519%34-52$47$9,489,8296Warner Bros.
13Parker$1,516-23%34-17$45$17,477,8567FilmDistrict
14Broken City$1,47528%24-45$61$19,671,6088Fox
15Camp (2013)$1,356-22%42$339$39,1733Freestyle Releasing
16A Late Quartet$246-35%71$35$1,562,54619Entertainment One / RKO
17The Sweeney$69-16%1-10$69$26,6502eOne Films US
18Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$1850%10$18$97,37623Roadside Attractions