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, Jun. 20 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jun. 20 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Man of Steel$7,011,050-22%4,2070$1,667$168,790,9471Warner Bros.
2This Is The End$2,100,792-27%3,0550$688$44,791,5241Sony / Columbia
3Now You See Me$1,196,175-18%3,08262$388$86,580,9763Lionsgate / Summit
4Fast & Furious 6$759,375-22%3,375-396$225$223,687,4704Universal
5The Internship$733,984-26%3,39933$216$34,939,5052Fox
6Epic$726,830-18%3,151-239$231$99,255,1254Fox
7The Purge$711,290-28%2,59155$275$56,016,4452Universal
8Star Trek Into Darkness$522,864-17%2,331-821$224$213,610,9165Paramount
9After Earth$348,408-29%2,432-969$143$56,442,2093Sony / Columbia
10Iron Man 3$275,788-13%1,649-544$167$400,945,2227Disney
11The Hangover Part III$239,196-25%1,901-1341$126$109,296,4684Warner Bros.
12The Great Gatsby (2013)$212,053-18%1,175-985$180$140,998,1036Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jun. 20 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Croods$102,088-2%368-16$277$183,062,62513Fox / DreamWorks Animation
2Mud$60,301-16%405-175$149$19,895,3158Roadside Attractions
342 (2013)$51,450-16%44474$116$93,946,30610Warner Bros.
4The East$28,725-15%11574$250$842,9413Fox Searchlight
5Oblivion (2013)$27,20511%258-40$105$88,885,0559Universal
6Olympus Has Fallen$18,216-9%201-35$91$98,466,39513FilmDistrict
7The Big Wedding$17,36511%16573$105$21,541,1678Lionsgate
8G.I. Joe: Retaliation$15,013-7%170-66$88$122,172,50112Paramount
9Scary Movie 5$13,021-15%14190$92$31,590,68410Weinstein / Dimension
10Escape From Planet Earth$11,826-5%151-31$78$56,740,86418Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jun. 20 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Bling Ring$23,342-27%5--$4,668$341,2411A24
2Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$20,088-12%2318$873$472,5952Roadside Attractions
3The Kings of Summer$19,589-13%6319$311$630,6083CBS Films
4Stories We Tell$11,848-2%63-7$188$1,289,1456Roadside Attractions
5Kon-Tiki$10,991-8%70-5$157$1,255,9158Weinstein Company
6To the Arctic 3D$6,744-5%520$130$12,833,73861Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Born to Be Wild 3D$6,4773%300$216$22,829,450115Warner Bros. / IMAX
8The Place Beyond the Pines$4,979-23%76-57$66$21,353,72112Focus
9Pain and Gain$4,569-8%70-105$65$49,309,4218Paramount
10The Sapphires$4,265-18%39-16$109$2,340,88913Weinstein Company
11Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's$2,91417%14-15$208$483,9447eOne Films US
12Quartet$2,33316%25-89$93$18,368,76423Weinstein Company
13Lost and Found in Armenia$2,117-29%2-7$1,059$95,3302High Top Releasing
14We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks$1,725-5%11-14$157$166,2434Focus World
15Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire$1,624--17--$96$1,6240High Top Releasing
16Tiger Eyes$567-31%6-11$95$24,2212Freestyle Releasing
17Wish You Were Here (2013)$457-20%6-5$76$43,2492eOne Films US
18From Up on Poppy Hill$398-49%100$40$1,002,89214GKIDS
19Camp (2013)$354107%2--$177$324,68417Freestyle Releasing
20Not Today$317-31%7-12$45$293,67010Freestyle Releasing
21The Stroller Strategy$31141%1--$311$2,9901Rialto Premieres