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, Nov. 12 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Nov. 12 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Thor: The Dark World$5,244,111-50%3,841--$1,365$101,399,1461Disney
2Last Vegas$1,162,711-25%3,08217$377$36,179,3772CBS Films
3Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$870,445-41%3,187-158$273$81,120,0543Paramount
4Ender's Game$740,614-53%3,4070$217$46,327,0192Lionsgate / Summit
5Gravity$663,168-46%2,720-304$244$233,142,2056Warner Bros.
612 Years a Slave$652,564-42%1,144734$570$19,201,4984Fox Searchlight
7Captain Phillips$513,930-40%2,646-375$194$92,257,7735Sony / Columbia
8Free Birds$453,075-82%3,7360$121$33,168,1982Relativity Media
9About Time$450,050-29%1,2001025$375$7,355,6782Universal
10Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$117,339-85%1,836-594$64$110,875,0737Sony / Columbia
11Escape Plan$100,530-19%1,049-917$96$23,432,7344Lionsgate / Summit
12Carrie (2013)$100,116-37%1,512-740$66$34,308,7834Sony / Screen Gems
13The Counselor$94,459-26%1,022-2022$92$16,082,4903Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Nov. 12 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1All Is Lost$117,566-30%399269$295$3,084,8034Roadside Attractions
2Enough Said$58,112-26%429-233$135$15,975,8238Fox Searchlight
3We're the Millers$28,286-25%358-197$79$149,747,89614Warner Bros. / New Line
4Despicable Me 2$26,350-73%3101$85$365,477,62019Universal
5Machete Kills$22,367103%212-51$106$7,982,5595Open Road
6Prisoners$21,536-6%225-240$96$60,313,5798Warner Bros.
7Lee Daniels' The Butler$18,205-25%214-98$85$115,342,73913Weinstein Company
8Rush (2013)$13,940-29%164-139$85$26,784,9548Universal
9Diana$13,115-6%10062$131$220,5622eOne Films US
10Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$9,560-75%216-35$44$67,755,42614Fox
11Insidious Chapter 2$7,905-53%229-324$35$83,075,2869FilmDistrict
12Baggage Claim$5,810-52%135-159$43$21,401,8877Fox Searchlight
13Runner Runner$4,587-25%119-118$39$19,252,8046Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Nov. 12 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Dallas Buyers Club$62,418-29%3526$1,783$1,143,5922Focus
2Don Jon$15,207-8%92-89$165$24,109,6637Relativity Media
3The Book Thief$7,183-51%4--$1,796$126,9841Fox
4Pulling Strings$4,173-48%76-33$55$5,794,5796Lionsgate / Pantelion
5The Wolverine$3,853-53%77-42$50$132,437,00516Fox
6Romeo and Juliet (2013)$3,805691%21-1$181$1,129,0915Relativity Media
7I'm in Love with a Church Girl$3,681-63%74-169$50$2,179,4954High Top Releasing
8Instructions Not Included$3,188-46%52-84$61$44,204,06211Lionsgate / Pantelion
9Turbo$2,755-78%62-7$44$82,887,19617Fox / DreamWorks Animation
10The Family (2013)$2,526-36%57-30$44$36,629,4879Relativity Media
11Reaching for the Moon$1,734-25%2--$867$18,6151Wolfe Releasing
12Grace Unplugged$1,060-62%37-44$29$2,484,8056Roadside Attractions
13In a World...$1,034-27%18-4$57$2,929,78514Roadside Attractions
14The Heat$802-22%28-14$29$159,534,13420Fox
15Big Sur$719-13%5-8$144$31,3992Ketchup Entertainment
16The World's End$611-42%9-7$68$25,984,20312Focus
17The Spectacular Now$562-23%12-6$47$6,847,64015A24
18Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story (2013 re-issue)$249-78%32$83$23,9923Cinepix
19Linsanity$158-90%3-1$53$270,6476Ketchup Entertainment
20The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$142-11%1-4$142$52,8467Rialto Pictures