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, Aug. 16 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Aug. 16 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Lee Daniels' The Butler$8,322,061--2,933--$2,837$8,322,0611Weinstein Company
2Kick-Ass 2$5,835,900--2,940--$1,985$5,835,9001Universal
3We're the Millers$5,438,36884%3,32565$1,636$57,171,8532Warner Bros. / New Line
4Elysium$3,937,98161%3,2840$1,199$46,252,2872Sony / TriStar
5Planes$3,648,27082%3,71614$982$35,598,1382Disney
6Jobs$2,608,716--2,381--$1,096$2,608,7161Open Road
7Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$2,550,43180%3,08049$828$33,079,0892Fox
82 Guns$1,667,92564%2,471-557$675$55,317,2703Universal
9The Smurfs 2$1,362,27720%2,349-1518$580$53,674,4663Sony / Columbia
10Paranoia$1,308,413--2,459--$532$1,308,4131Relativity Media
11The Wolverine$1,306,84159%2,058-809$635$117,339,9974Fox
12The Conjuring$1,194,74177%2,001-649$597$125,147,6115Warner Bros. / New Line
13Despicable Me 2$1,072,62047%1,818-577$590$343,278,7407Universal
14Grown Ups 2$531,08446%1,241-861$428$126,216,5146Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Aug. 16 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Turbo$288,528-4%759-1012$380$76,867,8085Fox / DreamWorks Animation
2The Heat$272,85236%691-660$395$154,864,4848Fox
3Chennai Express$242,634107%190-6$1,277$3,363,8342UTV Motion Pictures
4Pacific Rim$211,62317%444-536$477$97,888,0906Warner Bros.
5Red 2$206,77011%715-859$289$50,481,6615Lionsgate / Summit
6The Way, Way Back$205,70122%457-323$450$17,318,9417Fox Searchlight
7Fruitvale Station$153,42013%477-351$322$14,272,9976Weinstein Company
8Man of Steel$145,57349%365-61$399$289,267,11410Warner Bros.
9World War Z$132,91452%307-198$433$197,999,0479Paramount
10R.I.P.D.$70,03547%203-275$345$32,274,3605Universal
11Star Trek Into Darkness$56,32639%210-46$268$227,023,85814Paramount
12Now You See Me$49,313142%134-9$368$115,895,34012Lionsgate / Summit
13Epic$31,91714%168-54$190$107,124,68513Fox
14White House Down$31,796--107-52$297$72,050,2308Sony / Columbia
15Fast & Furious 6$25,38040%141-50$180$238,383,64513Universal
16The Croods$20,95340%114-28$184$186,938,76622Fox / DreamWorks Animation
17The Internship$19,75929%100-36$198$44,505,44811Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Aug. 16 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Spectacular Now$118,831328%5536$2,161$780,7583A24
2In a World...$59,756705%3734$1,615$163,3132Roadside Attractions
3This Is The End$26,779--58-44$462$96,615,41310Sony / Columbia
4The Great Gatsby (2013)$14,7223%88-47$167$144,780,70115Warner Bros.
5After Earth$13,426--77-32$174$60,479,31512Sony / Columbia
6Pain and Gain$10,568762%8667$123$49,820,28517Paramount
7Unfinished Song$10,10327%43-10$235$1,551,1599Weinstein Company
8Underdogs (2013)$9,789--4--$2,447$9,7891Freestyle Releasing
9Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain$9,72746%32-45$304$32,207,4027Lionsgate / Summit
10Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$7,01935%36-17$195$4,203,91611Roadside Attractions
11Mud$4,20927%28-16$150$21,557,00417Roadside Attractions
12The Bling Ring$1,758-48%18-22$98$5,820,49810A24
13Inch'Allah$1,234--1--$1,234$453,0241eOne Films US
14Girl Rising$1,170--7--$167$1,513,49824Gathr Films
15Stories We Tell$497-65%8-2$62$1,575,48215Roadside Attractions
16Girl Most Likely$235-69%2-10$118$1,374,2095Roadside Attractions