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, May. 1 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, May. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Pain and Gain$1,312,805-33%3,277--$401$25,217,0151Paramount
2Oblivion (2013)$1,175,520-25%3,7929$310$69,243,1652Universal
342 (2013)$688,192-24%3,405155$202$71,412,3633Warner Bros.
4The Big Wedding$621,086-32%2,633--$236$9,756,4101Lionsgate
5The Croods$301,211-26%3,283-152$92$164,231,5946Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6The Place Beyond the Pines$258,857-28%1,58442$163$17,162,8415Focus
7Olympus Has Fallen$241,847-19%2,334-304$104$93,974,0896FilmDistrict
8G.I. Joe: Retaliation$232,366-27%2,707-468$86$117,293,5505Paramount
9Jurassic Park 3D$193,995-19%1,848-482$105$42,693,3354Universal
10Evil Dead$177,315-17%2,186-637$81$52,443,9134Sony / TriStar
11Scary Movie 5$160,352-27%2,733-669$59$28,034,7103Weinstein / Dimension
12Oz: The Great and Powerful$108,558-19%1,610-435$67$226,630,1128Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, May. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mud$187,207-11%363--$516$2,822,3441Roadside Attractions
2Tyler Perry's Temptation$75,937-20%942-463$81$50,890,7945Lionsgate
3The Host (2013)$31,024-9%611-745$51$25,963,5555Open Road
4Filly Brown$30,423-27%25971$117$2,409,3612Lionsgate / Pantelion
5Jack the Giant Slayer$27,118-24%365110$74$63,827,9389Warner Bros. / New Line
6Identity Thief$21,195-17%425-55$50$133,228,93512Universal
7The Lords of Salem$20,504-11%280-75$73$1,104,4812Anchor Bay Films
8Silver Linings Playbook$19,049-21%361-506$53$131,485,90224Weinstein Company
9The Sapphires$17,038-12%12612$135$1,469,9906Weinstein Company
10Snitch (2013)$14,247-19%25291$57$42,373,39810Lionsgate / Summit
11Trance$13,753-15%157-286$88$2,163,4564Fox Searchlight
12Admission$12,719-24%279-206$46$17,732,8626Focus
13Safe Haven$10,918-14%259-66$42$71,122,34811Relativity Media
14Quartet$10,625-21%130-46$82$18,040,24716Weinstein Company
15Escape From Planet Earth$9,4460%28343$33$55,077,15611Weinstein Company
16Warm Bodies$7,723-1%190-50$41$66,291,51113Lionsgate / Summit
17Life of Pi$7,643-21%131-62$58$124,691,21623Fox
1821 And Over$6,938-16%13686$51$25,618,2289Relativity Media
19The Incredible Burt Wonderstone$6,721-11%185-80$36$22,486,5897Warner Bros. / New Line
20Side Effects (2013)$6,001-18%108-537$56$32,013,75712Open Road
21A Good Day to Die Hard$4,062-23%122-48$33$67,248,08811Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, May. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Girl Rising$19,5685%72-98$272$1,068,0538Gathr Films
2Spring Breakers$7,536-31%72-50$105$13,967,2177A24
3To the Arctic 3D$6,742-29%520$130$12,318,46654Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Born to Be Wild 3D$6,58915%300$220$22,547,065108Warner Bros. / IMAX
5From Up on Poppy Hill$5,18010%44-4$118$814,8277GKIDS
6Starbuck$5,145158%27-2$191$3,734,6506eOne Films US
7The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone$3,26991%25-6$131$522,0079Methinx Entertainment
8Kon-Tiki$3,26037%2--$1,630$30,5581Weinstein Company
9Camp (2013)$2,91126%28-4$104$301,39010Freestyle Releasing
10Dark Skies$2,064-24%63-28$33$17,351,01110Weinstein / Dimension
11Emperor$1,55848%26-38$60$3,299,0288Roadside Attractions
12Django Unchained$1,532-28%38-39$40$162,794,50318Weinstein Company
13Parental Guidance$1,398-5%61-29$23$77,226,03918Fox
14Le Petit Soldat (2013 re-issue)$857241%1--$857$19,5048Rialto Pictures
15Not Today$38441%3-17$128$148,7193Freestyle Releasing
16Settai$80-75%1-1$80$87,7404UTV Motion Pictures