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, Aug. 21 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Aug. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones$3,006,254--3,046--$987$3,006,2540Sony / Screen Gems
2Lee Daniels' The Butler$2,414,855-21%2,933--$823$32,810,9791Weinstein Company
3We're the Millers$1,929,877-21%3,32565$580$76,261,8822Warner Bros. / New Line
4Elysium$1,273,459-31%3,2840$388$60,691,2982Sony / TriStar
5Planes$1,224,266-24%3,71614$329$49,580,4732Disney
6Kick-Ass 2$983,430-37%2,940--$335$17,256,3601Universal
7Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$785,529-36%2,872-159$274$42,298,1232Fox
82 Guns$564,650-27%2,210-818$255$61,441,6703Universal
9The Smurfs 2$558,417-36%2,114-1753$264$59,129,5533Sony / Columbia
10Jobs$532,764-24%2,381--$224$8,610,2761Open Road
11The Wolverine$436,694-33%1,715-1152$255$122,175,6504Fox
12Despicable Me 2$415,205-29%1,564-831$265$347,639,0407Universal
13The Conjuring$403,034-23%2,001-649$201$129,247,3895Warner Bros. / New Line
14Paranoia$297,905-34%2,459--$121$4,640,2001Relativity Media
15Grown Ups 2$135,152-32%1,016-1086$133$127,902,8746Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Aug. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Turbo$101,603-26%584-1187$174$78,030,7345Fox / DreamWorks Animation
2The Way, Way Back$85,365-12%430-350$199$18,128,0747Fox Searchlight
3The Heat$81,051-29%554-797$146$155,766,6088Fox
4Pacific Rim$79,225-34%444-536$178$98,691,2526Warner Bros.
5Fruitvale Station$64,877-11%477-351$136$14,842,6366Weinstein Company
6Chennai Express$63,032-42%190-6$332$4,246,8582UTV Motion Pictures
7Red 2$62,264-33%715-859$87$51,195,0565Lionsgate / Summit
8Man of Steel$55,883-16%365-61$153$289,816,74010Warner Bros.
9World War Z$54,252-19%307-198$177$198,482,9679Paramount
10Star Trek Into Darkness$26,430-11%210-46$126$227,244,18014Paramount
11Now You See Me$23,340-18%134-9$174$116,072,63712Lionsgate / Summit
12R.I.P.D.$21,720-29%181-297$120$32,502,1255Universal
13Epic$16,220-11%168-54$97$107,262,96313Fox
14Fast & Furious 6$10,620-6%141-50$75$238,486,62013Universal
15The Croods$10,511-8%114-28$92$187,023,69022Fox / DreamWorks Animation
16The Internship$8,930-3%100-36$89$44,580,26311Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Aug. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Spectacular Now$51,347-6%5536$934$1,234,8873A24
2In a World...$29,710-6%3734$803$419,7602Roadside Attractions
3Pain and Gain$7,70963%8667$90$49,865,40317Paramount
4The Great Gatsby (2013)$6,8374%88-47$78$144,832,76015Warner Bros.
5Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$5,92221%36-17$165$4,234,43211Roadside Attractions
6Unfinished Song$5,234-4%43-10$122$1,587,1069Weinstein Company
7Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain$3,2802%32-45$103$32,241,0147Lionsgate / Summit
8Mud$1,699-26%28-16$61$21,572,38317Roadside Attractions
9The Bling Ring$988-20%18-22$55$5,827,66410A24
10The Servant (2013 re-issue)$912--1--$912$16,8824Rialto Pictures
11Underdogs (2013)$895-11%4--$224$22,2801Freestyle Releasing
12Stories We Tell$617-19%8-2$77$1,579,25015Roadside Attractions
13Le Petit Soldat (2013 re-issue)$264--1--$264$25,90724Rialto Pictures
14Inch'Allah$220-12%1--$220$455,9071eOne Films US
15Girl Most Likely$181108%2-10$91$1,375,0695Roadside Attractions