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, Jun. 5 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Jun. 5 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Now You See Me$2,977,310-15%2,925--$1,018$38,812,5681Lionsgate / Summit
2Fast & Furious 6$2,819,790-21%3,68628$765$180,349,2452Universal
3After Earth$1,754,562-25%3,401--$516$33,659,3851Sony / Columbia
4Star Trek Into Darkness$1,631,132-13%3,585-322$455$186,681,7183Paramount
5Epic$1,580,565-8%3,89412$406$70,064,5162Fox
6The Hangover Part III$1,518,412-21%3,56510$426$93,578,4582Warner Bros.
7The Great Gatsby (2013)$838,084-12%2,635-455$318$131,101,1044Warner Bros.
8Iron Man 3$808,293-8%2,895-529$279$387,631,5855Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Jun. 5 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mud$142,3102%579-133$246$17,280,5316Roadside Attractions
2The Croods$83,9822%506-502$166$180,820,83711Fox / DreamWorks Animation
342 (2013)$54,222-7%501-414$108$92,495,2878Warner Bros.
4Oblivion (2013)$37,655-19%357-215$105$88,187,3557Universal
5G.I. Joe: Retaliation$32,158-5%286-60$112$121,683,32210Paramount
6Escape From Planet Earth$28,221-2%268-78$105$56,403,46316Weinstein Company
7Pain and Gain$15,668-3%207-796$76$49,100,7446Paramount
8Identity Thief$14,1755%150-37$95$134,493,35017Universal
9Olympus Has Fallen$11,936-3%149-60$80$97,900,91211FilmDistrict
10The Place Beyond the Pines$11,176-12%103-25$109$21,170,28110Focus
11The Big Wedding$9,492-19%126-139$75$21,314,2676Lionsgate
12Jack the Giant Slayer$8,1120%143-42$57$65,134,34014Warner Bros. / New Line
13Tyler Perry Presents Peeples$6,120-12%121-364$51$9,058,9144Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Jun. 5 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Kon-Tiki$17,6246%7410$238$945,5266Weinstein Company
2Girl Rising$13,980280%30-33$466$1,363,38713Gathr Films
3Stories We Tell$12,0424%3913$309$936,8294Roadside Attractions
4The East$7,8960%4--$1,974$100,3461Fox Searchlight
5The Sapphires$7,4979%58-3$129$2,228,87911Weinstein Company
6To the Arctic 3D$7,27311%520$140$12,712,86459Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's$7,121-4%381$187$409,2435eOne Films US
8Born to Be Wild 3D$7,10931%300$237$22,741,886113Warner Bros. / IMAX
9The Kings of Summer$5,6435%4--$1,411$75,9841CBS Films
10We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks$5,12811%117$466$87,2112Focus World
11Not Today$3,7266%1813$207$252,3858Freestyle Releasing
12Scary Movie 5$2,29123%51-120$45$31,417,4968Weinstein / Dimension
13Spring Breakers$2,224-21%40-30$56$14,120,74312A24
14Quartet$1,37410%17-13$81$18,266,27021Weinstein Company
15From Up on Poppy Hill$1,2600%12-12$105$986,74712GKIDS
16Silver Linings Playbook$1,1453%23-12$50$132,091,91129Weinstein Company
17Admission$910-13%12-14$76$18,006,59611Focus
18Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan$595--3--$198$1,3701Cinema Purgatorio
19Emperor$56532%6-2$94$3,343,29313Roadside Attractions
20A Pig Across Paris (2013 re-issue)$12013%10$120$18,1482Rialto Pictures
21The Painting (2013)$3260%1-5$32$20,8874GKIDS