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 Tue, Sep. 3 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Sep. 3 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Lee Daniels' The Butler$1,348,389-75%3,330220$405$80,814,7673Weinstein Company
2We're the Millers$1,053,219-71%3,4450$306$114,293,2314Warner Bros. / New Line
3One Direction: This Is Us$603,449-77%2,735--$221$19,076,3241Sony / TriStar
4Elysium$601,038-70%2,539-374$237$81,125,5504Sony / TriStar
5The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones$470,015-71%3,1180$151$24,993,9082Sony / Screen Gems
6The World's End$461,034-69%1,5532$297$18,781,6032Focus
7Planes$406,338-87%3,259-119$125$74,376,3304Disney
8Getaway$375,109-66%2,130--$176$5,981,2511Warner Bros.
9You're Next$368,242-62%2,4370$151$14,777,3112Lionsgate
10Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$260,706-85%2,393-337$109$56,990,1724Fox
112 Guns$225,760-70%1,411-430$160$70,322,0905Universal
12Kick-Ass 2$205,750-60%1,646-1299$125$27,203,8103Universal
13Despicable Me 2$147,660-86%1,284-118$115$355,886,9509Universal
14The Smurfs 2$119,332-86%1,366-486$87$67,105,1955Sony / Columbia
15Jobs$111,588-67%1,302-1079$86$14,917,9353Open Road
16Monsters University$99,012-86%1,889--$52$264,385,38111Disney
17World War Z$91,342-76%1,2471008$73$200,765,54711Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Sep. 3 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Instructions Not Included$683,101-73%348--$1,963$11,061,6591Lionsgate / Pantelion
2The Grandmaster$227,723-68%749742$304$3,605,1012Weinstein Company
3Closed Circuit$186,138-71%870--$214$3,814,8691Focus
4The Wolverine$138,031-72%988-461$140$128,460,3186Fox
5The Conjuring$104,470-64%903-452$116$134,288,3987Warner Bros. / New Line
6The Spectacular Now$93,721-73%385231$243$3,912,5815A24
7Star Trek Into Darkness$71,225-74%958814$74$228,568,04916Paramount
8Pacific Rim$57,543-71%401141$143$100,423,8078Warner Bros.
9The Way, Way Back$51,476-79%654352$79$19,858,0539Fox Searchlight
10Turbo$39,148-86%438-32$89$80,126,2817Fox / DreamWorks Animation
11The Heat$37,183-70%393-16$95$157,467,71010Fox
12Now You See Me$34,466-70%239-7$144$117,131,45114Lionsgate / Summit
13Grown Ups 2$31,681-81%471-149$67$130,220,1288Sony / Columbia
14Red 2$26,888-72%261-128$103$52,237,4957Lionsgate / Summit
15Fruitvale Station$19,833-69%294-98$67$15,609,9678Weinstein Company
16Man of Steel$19,595-80%284-19$69$290,769,85212Warner Bros.
17Paranoia$16,596-71%392-2067$42$7,109,5653Relativity Media
18R.I.P.D.$14,480-72%1812$80$33,099,0257Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Sep. 3 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Satyagraha$33,286-62%83--$401$534,0001UTV Motion Pictures
2In a World...$27,254-75%9116$299$1,333,3584Roadside Attractions
3Chennai Express$15,508-72%93-51$167$5,137,7484UTV Motion Pictures
4This Is The End$9,353-43%34--$275$96,933,85212Sony / Columbia
5Passion$3,115-65%14--$223$45,5841eOne Films US
6Fast & Furious 6$2,360-74%59-39$40$238,675,73015Universal
7Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$2,349-24%13-14$181$4,270,84613Roadside Attractions
8Epic$2,169-90%80-35$27$107,454,52515Fox
9The Croods$1,856-87%45-24$41$187,132,52324Fox / DreamWorks Animation
10Unfinished Song$598-73%17-10$35$1,635,13011Weinstein Company
11The Servant (2013 re-issue)$580-73%2--$290$33,9956Rialto Pictures
12Savannah$423-58%5-9$85$25,9742Ketchup Entertainment
13The Last Flight of the Champion$200-72%15--$13$2,4201High Top Releasing
14Inch'Allah$172-69%20$86$461,1173eOne Films US
15Mud$156-76%6-10$26$21,588,20419Roadside Attractions
16Underdogs (2013)$130-87%1-1$130$34,0313Freestyle Releasing