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. 30 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Sep. 30 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$1,346,798-86%4,001--$337$35,364,7281Sony / Columbia
2Prisoners$852,111-67%3,29030$259$39,401,3052Warner Bros.
3Rush (2013)$803,950-65%2,2972292$350$11,079,7792Universal
4Don Jon$788,671-59%2,422--$326$9,465,6801Relativity Media
5Baggage Claim$544,527-71%2,027--$269$9,575,6291Fox Searchlight
6Insidious Chapter 2$366,756-73%3,120-35$118$69,716,2653FilmDistrict
7The Family (2013)$301,748-67%2,894-197$104$32,056,3503Relativity Media
8We're the Millers$218,206-65%2,405-598$91$142,579,1378Warner Bros. / New Line
9Lee Daniels' The Butler$206,534-63%2,062-869$100$110,472,3967Weinstein Company
10Riddick$146,080-67%1,826-1196$80$40,202,7904Universal
11Battle of the Year$108,592-78%2,0080$54$7,600,6762Sony / Screen Gems
12Planes$51,926-77%1,426-1020$36$87,733,3758Disney
13Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$44,530-80%1,007-466$44$65,424,8038Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Sep. 30 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Instructions Not Included$200,223-84%948-30$211$38,853,1195Lionsgate / Pantelion
2Enough Said$170,009-67%227223$749$2,636,3902Fox Searchlight
3Metallica Through The Never$107,908-60%305--$354$1,684,4691Picturehouse
4Elysium$46,933-61%562-830$84$91,897,9938Sony / TriStar
5Despicable Me 2$44,880-80%748-256$60$361,819,59513Universal
6The Wizard of Oz 3D$39,767-84%305-13$130$5,120,8162Warner Bros.
72 Guns$26,195-62%403-349$65$75,028,7509Universal
8The Wolverine$24,476-64%329-133$74$131,329,12610Fox
9The World's End$19,195-58%281-552$68$25,713,7406Focus
10Thanks for Sharing$17,395-58%251-18$69$915,7982Roadside Attractions
11The Conjuring$17,034-65%338-223$50$136,989,08911Warner Bros. / New Line
12The Heat$14,130-65%251-59$56$158,962,76614Fox
13Turbo$12,494-83%282-51$44$81,975,93211Fox / DreamWorks Animation
14In a World...$10,330-61%121-23$85$2,607,7168Roadside Attractions
15The Spectacular Now$9,128-70%142-429$64$6,666,0829A24
16Salinger$8,993-55%134-4$67$513,5664Weinstein Company
17Pacific Rim$8,904-70%140-62$64$101,633,50612Warner Bros.
18The Grandmaster$7,804-73%143-330$55$6,513,4206Weinstein Company
19The Way, Way Back$6,702-62%158-166$42$21,331,35813Fox Searchlight
20World War Z$6,406-72%160-43$40$202,285,26415Paramount
21Red 2$5,041-62%110-68$46$52,874,32811Lionsgate / Summit
22You're Next$2,295-60%112-420$20$18,412,2596Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Sep. 30 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Haute Cuisine$3,242-68%1411$232$58,5472Weinstein Company
2Fruitvale Station$3,159-55%42-61$75$16,014,76912Weinstein Company
3Jobs$2,932-55%84-68$35$16,120,3757Open Road
4Paranoia$2,367-46%66-22$36$7,378,3947Relativity Media
5Getaway$2,092-65%74-441$28$10,496,5865Warner Bros.
6The Ultimate Life$1,818-55%47-137$39$1,313,0534High Top Releasing
7Unfinished Song$1,658-47%19-4$87$1,698,95215Weinstein Company
8Populaire$1,586-53%244$66$131,6744Weinstein Company
9We Are What We Are (2013)$994-59%2--$497$14,7211eOne Films US
10The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$692-46%1--$692$6,1851Rialto Pictures
11Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$610-56%8-10$76$4,319,85317Roadside Attractions
12Antoine and Antoinette (2013 re-issue)$453-60%1--$453$6,1271Rialto Pictures
13C.O.G.$338-74%9-11$38$50,0292Screen Media / Focus World
14Chennai Express$259-87%9-11$29$5,306,9888UTV Motion Pictures
15Hotel Normandy$236-71%1--$236$2,7881Rialto Premieres
16Morning$173-76%4--$43$3,0491Anchor Bay Films
17Stories We Tell$35-73%4-1$9$1,598,14921Roadside Attractions