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 Fri, Jul. 19 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Jul. 19 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Conjuring$16,956,117--2,903--$5,841$16,956,1171Warner Bros. / New Line
2Despicable Me 2$7,468,08549%3,820-183$1,955$258,568,1203Universal
3Turbo$6,627,94660%3,806--$1,741$16,330,7051Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4Grown Ups 2$6,428,73568%3,4910$1,842$65,944,6112Sony / Columbia
5Red 2$6,349,306--3,016--$2,105$6,349,3061Lionsgate / Summit
6R.I.P.D.$4,819,880--2,852--$1,690$4,819,8801Universal
7Pacific Rim$4,723,43652%3,28510$1,438$57,003,7282Warner Bros.
8The Heat$2,845,64464%2,689-439$1,058$122,813,0804Fox
9World War Z$1,550,40960%2,066-937$750$183,291,4765Paramount
10Monsters University$1,512,66614%2,186-956$692$245,504,9205Disney
11The Lone Ranger$1,318,59016%2,273-1631$580$78,229,8333Disney
12White House Down$713,49219%1,454-1112$491$66,766,1214Sony / Columbia
13Man of Steel$504,42913%1,050-1100$480$283,685,5166Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Jul. 19 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain$659,63978%748-144$882$28,572,4393Lionsgate / Summit
2The Way, Way Back$623,940365%304225$2,052$3,016,2103Fox Searchlight
3This Is The End$355,94521%622-772$572$93,606,0376Sony / Columbia
4Girl Most Likely$225,750--351--$643$225,7501Roadside Attractions
5Now You See Me$133,57127%333-517$401$114,108,1878Lionsgate / Summit
6Epic$117,50537%319-33$368$105,332,0779Fox
7Star Trek Into Darkness$110,50842%250-153$442$224,844,21110Paramount
8The Great Gatsby (2013)$101,439277%302177$336$143,431,39311Warner Bros.
9Fast & Furious 6$99,05066%279-113$355$236,898,0259Universal
10The Internship$68,942102%202-31$341$43,425,7427Fox
11The Croods$62,93224%212-31$297$185,892,45518Fox / DreamWorks Animation
12After Earth$55,97927%189-49$296$59,614,6468Sony / Columbia
13The Purge$39,78078%156-23$255$63,974,7157Universal
14The Hangover Part III$33,07712%202-63$164$111,803,3129Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Jul. 19 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Fruitvale Station$229,790372%3427$6,759$822,0032Weinstein Company
2Unfinished Song$43,90933%88-3$499$958,1485Weinstein Company
3Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$39,135-11%95-43$412$3,726,3397Roadside Attractions
4Mud$25,70836%77-36$334$21,171,07013Roadside Attractions
5The Bling Ring$21,006-11%38-59$553$5,579,5966A24
6The Kings of Summer$11,7766%35-21$336$1,262,7948CBS Films
742 (2013)$11,0324%85-20$130$94,979,05915Warner Bros.
8The East$9,824-22%31-40$317$2,183,6928Fox Searchlight
9Pain and Gain$7,869-32%70-80$112$49,714,32713Paramount
10Copperhead$7,6511039%3631$213$129,0834Brainstorm Media
11Stories We Tell$6,678104%22-6$304$1,501,88511Roadside Attractions
12Kon-Tiki$2,98624%9-12$332$1,460,06613Weinstein Company
13Scary Movie 5$625-95%8-25$78$32,012,34915Weinstein / Dimension
14The Sapphires$382-77%10-5$38$2,446,53918Weinstein Company
15Escape From Planet Earth$238-98%7-48$34$57,011,08023Weinstein Company
16Not Today$123-8%10$123$317,82015Freestyle Releasing
17Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's$101-95%41$25$513,45512eOne Films US