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 Sat, Oct. 19 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Oct. 19 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gravity$13,609,19351%3,820160$3,563$162,161,3963Warner Bros.
2Captain Phillips$7,378,39945%3,0200$2,443$48,491,5362Sony / Columbia
3Carrie (2013)$6,264,952-4%3,157--$1,984$12,780,4381Sony / Screen Gems
4Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$4,553,81479%3,602-272$1,264$90,131,5884Sony / Columbia
5Escape Plan$3,949,02516%2,883--$1,370$7,347,3551Lionsgate / Summit
6Prisoners$940,14151%2,160-695$435$56,757,2605Warner Bros.
7Insidious Chapter 2$738,25259%1,665-491$443$80,593,8596FilmDistrict
8Runner Runner$726,64540%2,011-1015$361$17,157,8883Fox
9The Fifth Estate$685,04016%1,769--$387$1,274,3411Disney / DreamWorks
10Rush (2013)$567,99049%1,197-933$475$24,312,6445Universal
11Machete Kills$508,12345%2,5380$200$6,057,3732Open Road
12Don Jon$506,76732%1,114-882$455$22,189,2854Relativity Media

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Oct. 19 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Enough Said$817,52860%757151$1,080$10,315,5355Fox Searchlight
2Baggage Claim$551,20178%865-455$637$19,760,7784Fox Searchlight
3I'm in Love with a Church Girl$397,01313%457--$869$746,8621High Top Releasing
4We're the Millers$363,90165%881-269$413$147,551,13811Warner Bros. / New Line
5Pulling Strings$236,46862%43810$540$4,938,4383Lionsgate / Pantelion
6Despicable Me 2$231,07583%395-39$585$363,612,70516Universal
7Instructions Not Included$219,60774%475-236$462$43,349,3578Lionsgate / Pantelion
8Lee Daniels' The Butler$178,34660%602-378$296$114,185,00310Weinstein Company
9Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$141,22269%350-54$403$66,846,91711Fox
10The Family (2013)$99,17055%483-567$205$36,243,1986Relativity Media
11Grown Ups 2$99,13069%223-38$445$133,072,69415Sony / Columbia
12Grace Unplugged$98,80229%313-189$316$2,118,5373Roadside Attractions
13Romeo and Juliet (2013)$98,54545%4610$214$883,6552Relativity Media
14The Smurfs 2$91,96774%242-26$380$70,576,13412Sony / Columbia
15The Wolverine$70,10559%207-20$339$132,040,29213Fox
16Turbo$54,37171%149-38$365$82,594,92214Fox / DreamWorks Animation
17Riddick$51,74551%253-177$205$41,854,1407Universal
182 Guns$40,56554%135-31$300$75,549,06012Universal
19The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete$36,51055%1470$248$416,9262Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
20The Heat$35,74642%103-36$347$159,386,90217Fox
21The Conjuring$20,34557%113-32$180$137,334,69714Warner Bros. / New Line

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Oct. 19 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
112 Years a Slave$381,71239%19--$20,090$655,5941Fox Searchlight
2All Is Lost$40,22961%6--$6,705$65,1751Roadside Attractions
3Elysium$24,59643%93-47$264$92,454,23911Sony / TriStar
4Battle of the Year$20,80494%86-124$242$8,876,4755Sony / Screen Gems
5A.C.O.D.$20,25145%4224$482$109,5963The Film Arcade
6In a World...$15,83644%47-7$337$2,827,71311Roadside Attractions
7The Spectacular Now$9,29031%5421$172$6,805,39812A24
8Haute Cuisine$9,09673%21-9$433$184,9455Weinstein Company
9Linsanity$7,601105%9-7$845$222,5173Ketchup Entertainment
10The World's End$6,40233%40-33$160$25,931,3229Focus
11Shahid$4,95230%16--$310$8,7691UTV Motion Pictures
12Fruitvale Station$4,799238%20-21$240$16,085,27315Weinstein Company
13Thanks for Sharing$3,92265%14-2$280$1,041,9685Roadside Attractions
14We Are What We Are (2013)$3,76892%12-1$314$61,8624eOne Films US
15Populaire$1,77332%14-7$127$174,0237Weinstein Company
16The Grandmaster$1,605104%9-7$178$6,592,9449Weinstein Company
17Torn$1,563-31%1--$1,563$3,8151The Film Collective
18The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$1,087-15%31$362$22,1834Rialto Pictures
19Cassadaga$16632%30$55$2,1362Archstone Distribution