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 Mon, Sep. 9 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Sep. 9 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Riddick$1,398,150-69%3,107--$450$20,428,5251Universal
2Lee Daniels' The Butler$662,659-68%3,3300$199$92,065,7654Weinstein Company
3We're the Millers$577,143-68%3,4450$168$124,191,0745Warner Bros. / New Line
4Elysium$267,852-66%2,241-298$120$85,386,4515Sony / TriStar
5The World's End$199,276-65%1,520-33$131$21,983,3873Focus
6This Is The End$187,068-60%2,1612127$87$99,034,98013Sony / Columbia
7Planes$184,201-85%3,033-226$61$79,309,1965Disney
8The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones$153,978-74%2,519-599$61$28,005,1823Sony / Screen Gems
9Getaway$144,106-72%2,1355$67$8,824,2692Warner Bros.
10One Direction: This Is Us$128,778-87%2,7350$47$24,065,7432Sony / TriStar
11You're Next$122,591-66%1,902-535$64$17,029,6233Lionsgate
122 Guns$110,675-67%1,165-246$95$72,188,0956Universal
13Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$101,366-85%2,045-348$50$59,874,6715Fox
14Despicable Me 2$68,250-84%1,050-234$65$357,626,56510Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Sep. 9 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Instructions Not Included$582,582-82%717369$813$20,943,4752Lionsgate / Pantelion
2The Grandmaster$92,146-68%80455$115$5,051,1523Weinstein Company
3Closed Circuit$80,307-63%8700$92$5,103,9742Focus
4The Spectacular Now$58,474-65%41530$141$4,834,2106A24
5The Wolverine$57,273-68%698-290$82$129,468,4067Fox
6The Conjuring$56,061-65%716-187$78$135,242,0468Warner Bros. / New Line
7Kick-Ass 2$49,650-67%662-984$75$28,144,2104Universal
8The Ultimate Life$41,560-72%412--$101$701,4721High Top Releasing
9World War Z$37,908-68%374-873$101$201,396,92712Paramount
10Jobs$33,744-67%502-800$67$15,557,8724Open Road
11The Way, Way Back$32,277-68%550-104$59$20,441,41010Fox Searchlight
12The Smurfs 2$29,143-90%949-417$31$68,206,5696Sony / Columbia
13The Heat$25,379-68%350-43$73$157,922,04511Fox
14Pacific Rim$25,242-71%307-94$82$100,885,6329Warner Bros.
15Monsters University$25,221-81%596-1293$42$265,014,35712Disney
16Turbo$22,649-83%358-80$63$80,636,3978Fox / DreamWorks Animation
17In a World...$19,975-71%10211$196$1,689,0075Roadside Attractions
18Now You See Me$14,587-70%205-34$71$117,400,87715Lionsgate / Summit
19Red 2$12,223-66%250-11$49$52,455,5378Lionsgate / Summit
20Fruitvale Station$10,192-59%188-106$54$15,770,6799Weinstein Company
21R.I.P.D.$9,955-76%1810$55$33,294,5858Universal
22Man of Steel$7,984-76%201-83$40$290,933,45513Warner Bros.
23Star Trek Into Darkness$6,001-61%106-852$57$228,762,23317Paramount
24Paranoia$4,935-58%178-214$28$7,197,8954Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Sep. 9 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Salinger$6,446-71%4--$1,612$93,4021Weinstein Company
2Satyagraha$3,899-85%79-4$49$677,0362UTV Motion Pictures
3Chennai Express$2,323-85%53-40$44$5,223,2495UTV Motion Pictures
4Passion$1,643-59%13-1$126$73,4892eOne Films US
5Populaire$1,477-64%3--$492$17,1671Weinstein Company
6Epic$1,457-88%56-24$26$107,493,74116Fox
7Contempt (2013 re-issue)$1,233-44%1--$1,233$9,5551Rialto Pictures
8Unfinished Song$1,134-66%214$54$1,648,88812Weinstein Company
9Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$992-67%196$52$4,280,34014Roadside Attractions
10Stories We Tell$942-49%9--$105$1,592,04918Roadside Attractions
11Savannah$347-64%50$69$30,0203Ketchup Entertainment
12Mud$247-43%4-2$62$21,589,55420Roadside Attractions
13The Servant (2013 re-issue)$114-76%1-1$114$36,7827Rialto Pictures
14Underdogs (2013)$42147%10$42$34,8524Freestyle Releasing
15Girl Most Likely$32-93%21$16$1,378,4588Roadside Attractions