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, Oct. 8 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Oct. 8 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gravity$6,638,46710%3,575--$1,857$68,450,7071Warner Bros.
2Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$1,052,1647%4,0010$263$62,040,0782Sony / Columbia
3Runner Runner$828,01222%3,026--$274$9,214,8771Fox
4Prisoners$612,15625%3,236-54$189$49,029,0073Warner Bros.
5Don Jon$514,54225%2,4220$212$16,998,8862Relativity Media
6Rush (2013)$496,22030%2,30811$215$19,040,8843Universal
7Baggage Claim$309,92611%2,0303$153$15,723,9812Fox Searchlight
8Insidious Chapter 2$278,1455%2,607-513$107$75,315,4154FilmDistrict
9The Family (2013)$178,70727%2,023-871$88$34,957,6134Relativity Media
10We're the Millers$149,35813%1,606-799$93$145,177,1349Warner Bros. / New Line
11Lee Daniels' The Butler$145,59719%1,563-499$93$112,673,4178Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Oct. 8 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Enough Said$223,35423%437210$511$5,834,8413Fox Searchlight
2Pulling Strings$152,85211%387--$395$2,757,9691Lionsgate / Pantelion
3Instructions Not Included$119,8016%858-90$140$41,491,1576Lionsgate / Pantelion
4Grace Unplugged$58,9842%511--$115$1,115,1091Roadside Attractions
5Riddick$55,7758%795-1031$70$41,307,0205Universal
6Metallica Through The Never$54,813-2%589284$93$2,849,9612Picturehouse
7Battle of the Year$53,02541%907-1101$58$8,577,6453Sony / Screen Gems
8Besharam$36,722114%217--$169$536,0281Reliance Entertainment
9Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$36,52018%513-494$71$66,052,9309Fox
10Despicable Me 2$31,5258%485-263$65$362,496,23514Universal
11The Wolverine$20,70810%241-88$86$131,629,55911Fox
122 Guns$18,01050%200-203$90$75,277,56010Universal
13Red 2$17,92311%20393$88$53,077,48412Lionsgate / Summit
14Planes$17,688-5%376-1050$47$88,171,6839Disney
15Turbo$16,8018%222-60$76$82,252,62012Fox / DreamWorks Animation
16The Wizard of Oz 3D$13,723-13%246-59$56$5,433,7573Warner Bros.
17The Heat$13,21732%182-69$73$159,161,12515Fox
18The Conjuring$11,0033%202-136$54$137,184,69912Warner Bros. / New Line
19The World's End$9,37927%131-150$72$25,855,3597Focus
20The Way, Way Back$3,024-55%131-27$23$21,397,06314Fox Searchlight

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Oct. 8 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1In a World...$6,936-22%78-43$89$2,720,9599Roadside Attractions
2Pacific Rim$5,8312%92-48$63$101,740,05613Warner Bros.
3Linsanity$5,686-2%9--$632$110,9271Ketchup Entertainment
4The Spectacular Now$5,44752%58-84$94$6,750,34010A24
5Haute Cuisine$4,97930%6046$83$116,1963Weinstein Company
6Thanks for Sharing$4,03829%65-186$62$1,017,9853Roadside Attractions
7Fruitvale Station$3,44224%7634$45$16,055,59913Weinstein Company
8The Grandmaster$3,0817%35-108$88$6,572,8027Weinstein Company
9World War Z$2,5034%75-85$33$202,354,40816Paramount
10Salinger$2,38640%21-113$114$561,2615Weinstein Company
11Populaire$2,18624%5834$38$156,2955Weinstein Company
12We Are What We Are (2013)$1,296-8%86$162$28,3652eOne Films US
13You're Next$940117%45-67$21$18,428,3117Lionsgate
14C.O.G.$4010%4-5$100$54,2763Screen Media / Focus World
15The Ultimate Life$3752%9-38$42$1,326,8015High Top Releasing
16Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$350573%6-2$58$4,328,16618Roadside Attractions
17Stories We Tell$198-35%2-2$99$1,599,54222Roadside Attractions
18The Last Day of August$175-29%1--$175$2,1151Striped Entertainment