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. 28 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Mar. 28 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1G.I. Joe: Retaliation$10,506,875--3,719--$2,825$10,506,8750Paramount
2The Croods$5,088,79320%4,046--$1,258$62,182,0771Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3Oz: The Great and Powerful$2,465,87614%3,805-107$648$186,672,4003Disney
4Olympus Has Fallen$2,323,5365%3,098--$750$40,742,6691FilmDistrict
5The Call$905,17914%2,5070$361$34,680,2162Sony / TriStar
6Admission$584,2724%2,160--$270$8,508,8781Focus
7Spring Breakers$477,9323%1,104--$433$7,300,2892A24
8The Incredible Burt Wonderstone$421,221-3%3,1600$133$19,286,6212Warner Bros. / New Line
9Jack the Giant Slayer$288,206-4%2,560-797$113$60,380,3224Warner Bros. / New Line
10Identity Thief$235,340-6%2,166-676$109$128,817,8907Universal
11Silver Linings Playbook$165,6267%1,044-558$159$127,811,63619Weinstein Company
12Safe Haven$125,6266%1,279-927$98$69,423,6826Relativity Media
1321 And Over$107,5167%1,134-1290$95$24,649,3124Relativity Media
14Snitch (2013)$95,783-30%1,807-546$53$40,909,4025Lionsgate / Summit
15Escape From Planet Earth$84,4945%1,494-717$57$53,691,9796Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Mar. 28 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$80,095-3%489-157$164$122,893,86518Fox
2Quartet$71,508-9%425-263$168$16,217,39311Weinstein Company
3Stoker$42,6652%275181$155$1,299,0014Fox Searchlight
4Django Unchained$32,4723%29630$110$162,142,81313Weinstein Company
5Side Effects (2013)$31,464-4%225-177$140$31,107,5047Open Road
6Emperor$29,930-19%237-74$126$2,741,8293Roadside Attractions
7Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$28,20321%20979$135$55,037,2449Paramount
8Warm Bodies$23,479-12%299-360$79$65,123,2748Lionsgate / Summit
9The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$22,90124%235-70$97$302,779,92515Warner Bros. / New Line
10A Good Day to Die Hard$22,431-28%448-669$50$66,392,1096Fox
11Parental Guidance$21,16921%185-37$114$76,809,81913Fox
12Dead Man Down$20,763-26%612-1576$34$10,735,9903FilmDistrict
13Argo$19,559-4%185-355$106$135,588,70924Warner Bros.
14InAPPropriate Comedy$15,8857%275--$58$228,0041Freestyle Releasing
15The Last Exorcism Part II$15,500-15%455-1120$34$15,092,1844CBS Films
16Beautiful Creatures (2013)$14,94530%18863$79$19,357,6186Warner Bros.
17Rise of The Guardians$14,8199%162-51$91$103,230,39418Paramount / DreamWorks
18Dark Skies$13,2716%205-498$65$17,074,1145Weinstein / Dimension
19Mama$12,98533%130-74$100$71,514,41510Universal
20Les Miserables (2012)$12,9255%129-112$100$148,720,92513Universal
21The Impossible$9,4865%12318$77$18,773,45114Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Mar. 28 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Girl Rising$38,470141%188$2,137$514,9803Gathr Films
2To the Arctic 3D$20,4779%520$394$11,853,57549Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Born to Be Wild 3D$18,47747%300$616$22,317,922103Warner Bros. / IMAX
4From Up on Poppy Hill$9,79223%64$1,632$164,6952GKIDS
5The Sapphires$4,5108%4--$1,128$54,5891Weinstein Company
6Camp (2013)$4,049115%172$238$100,5595Freestyle Releasing
7The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone$3,416-5%28-17$122$360,4604Methinx Entertainment
8Bless Me, Ultima$3,0984%21-24$148$1,525,2485Arenas Entertainment
9Parker$2,68233%55-37$49$17,596,7449FilmDistrict
10Gangster Squad$2,6233%500$52$45,977,66011Warner Bros.
11Starbuck$2,43336%3--$811$3,477,8581eOne Films US
12Hyde Park on Hudson$2,426-2%20-11$121$6,376,14516Focus
13Kai Po Che$1,060-5%18-24$59$1,109,7285UTV Motion Pictures
14Rangrezz$305-35%11--$28$5,8371UTV Motion Pictures
15Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$272127%1--$272$99,02825Roadside Attractions