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 Sat, Jun. 22 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Jun. 22 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Monsters University$28,733,991-6%4,004--$7,176$59,207,0901Disney
2World War Z$22,619,334-10%3,607--$6,271$47,816,2131Paramount
3Man of Steel$16,211,39729%4,2070$3,853$197,549,3572Warner Bros.
4This Is The End$4,850,50818%3,0550$1,588$53,766,7192Sony / Columbia
5Now You See Me$3,124,25632%2,823-259$1,107$92,076,5534Lionsgate / Summit
6Fast & Furious 6$2,006,11034%2,417-958$830$227,192,1255Universal
7The Purge$1,364,62014%2,201-390$620$58,580,6103Universal
8The Internship$1,339,00024%1,916-1483$699$37,356,4703Fox
9Star Trek Into Darkness$1,303,11150%1,565-766$833$215,785,1276Paramount
10Epic$712,04133%1,994-1157$357$100,502,8585Fox
11After Earth$374,44235%1,166-1266$321$57,094,9824Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Jun. 22 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Iron Man 3$926,99720%924-725$1,003$402,643,0428Disney
2The Bling Ring$671,003-10%650645$1,032$1,755,0362A24
3Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$306,31546%206183$1,487$988,7233Roadside Attractions
4The Hangover Part III$292,37020%530-1371$552$109,831,9255Warner Bros.
5The Great Gatsby (2013)$241,39347%362-813$667$141,403,3587Warner Bros.
6The Croods$194,92127%324-44$602$183,411,61914Fox / DreamWorks Animation
7The East$154,63960%19580$793$1,093,9954Fox Searchlight
8Mud$131,52360%213-192$617$20,109,0869Roadside Attractions
942 (2013)$101,52324%325-119$312$94,129,52811Warner Bros.
10Oblivion (2013)$55,27534%201-57$275$88,981,53510Universal
11Olympus Has Fallen$51,82749%177-24$293$98,552,97114FilmDistrict
12G.I. Joe: Retaliation$35,44237%139-31$255$122,233,83613Paramount
13Scary Movie 5$32,49930%134-7$243$31,648,21511Weinstein / Dimension
14The Big Wedding$28,23927%141-24$200$21,591,7019Lionsgate
15Escape From Planet Earth$16,52133%138-13$120$56,769,77719Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Jun. 22 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Kings of Summer$52,76354%652$812$717,6684CBS Films
2Kon-Tiki$19,28767%53-17$364$1,286,7269Weinstein Company
3Stories We Tell$18,13375%33-30$549$1,317,6517Roadside Attractions
4To the Arctic 3D$13,143102%520$253$12,853,37962Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Unfinished Song$12,540145%2--$6,270$17,6601Weinstein Company
6The Place Beyond the Pines$11,29224%53-23$213$21,374,11713Focus
7Pain and Gain$9,31626%50-20$186$49,326,1489Paramount
8The Sapphires$7,89657%29-10$272$2,353,82814Weinstein Company
9Born to Be Wild 3D$5,367-46%300$179$22,844,840116Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Quartet$4,76634%294$164$18,377,08524Weinstein Company
11Lost and Found in Armenia$2,90423%1-1$2,904$100,5883High Top Releasing
12Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's$2,481187%8-6$310$487,2908eOne Films US
13Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire$1,58229%17--$93$4,4311High Top Releasing
14Made in Cleveland$1,44332%5--$289$6,1341Striped Entertainment
15Not Today$1,1101%3-4$370$295,87611Freestyle Releasing
16Wish You Were Here (2013)$91670%3-3$305$44,7153eOne Films US
17Girl Rising$57054%16--$36$1,418,36716Gathr Films
18Tiger Eyes$4184%2-4$209$25,0413Freestyle Releasing
19Camp (2013)$68-59%1-1$68$324,91618Freestyle Releasing