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 Thu, Nov. 14 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Nov. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Thor: The Dark World$3,546,237-1%3,841--$923$108,511,1141Disney
2Last Vegas$926,211-6%3,08217$301$38,092,9832CBS Films
3Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$720,0714%3,187-158$226$82,531,6383Paramount
4Ender's Game$646,7847%3,4070$190$47,576,5842Lionsgate / Summit
5Gravity$571,1492%2,720-304$210$234,275,6146Warner Bros.
612 Years a Slave$509,845-5%1,144734$446$20,248,7854Fox Searchlight
7Captain Phillips$423,951-3%2,646-375$160$93,117,4585Sony / Columbia
8Free Birds$399,05114%3,7360$107$33,918,2052Relativity Media
9About Time$377,8452%1,2001025$315$8,105,6482Universal
10Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$100,34110%1,836-594$55$111,066,4987Sony / Columbia
11Carrie (2013)$81,2771%1,512-740$54$34,470,9114Sony / Screen Gems
12Escape Plan$73,4089%1,049-917$70$23,573,5534Lionsgate / Summit
13The Counselor$72,035-7%1,022-2022$70$16,232,2513Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Nov. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1All Is Lost$104,734-7%399269$262$3,302,6044Roadside Attractions
2Enough Said$52,340-4%429-233$122$16,082,7148Fox Searchlight
3We're the Millers$29,86910%358-197$83$149,804,91914Warner Bros. / New Line
4Despicable Me 2$23,250-6%3101$75$365,525,67019Universal
5Prisoners$14,92310%225-240$66$60,342,0698Warner Bros.
6Lee Daniels' The Butler$14,788-4%214-98$69$115,372,94813Weinstein Company
7Machete Kills$12,501-5%212-51$59$8,008,1615Open Road
8Rush (2013)$12,3007%164-139$75$26,808,7348Universal
9Diana$10,987-5%10062$110$243,1422eOne Films US
10Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$8,1998%216-35$38$67,771,21414Fox
11Insidious Chapter 2$7,6925%229-324$34$83,090,2969FilmDistrict
12Runner Runner$4,6102%119-118$39$19,261,9436Fox
13Baggage Claim$4,033-18%135-159$30$21,410,8277Fox Searchlight

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Nov. 14 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Dallas Buyers Club$60,0565%3526$1,716$1,260,9362Focus
2Don Jon$12,2185%92-89$133$24,133,5227Relativity Media
3The Book Thief$8,5567%4--$2,139$143,5181Fox
4Linsanity$6,763146%3-1$2,254$280,1566Ketchup Entertainment
5The Wolverine$3,8134%77-42$50$132,444,48616Fox
6I'm in Love with a Church Girl$3,2193%74-169$44$2,185,8524High Top Releasing
7The Family (2013)$2,8550%57-30$50$36,635,1899Relativity Media
8Pulling Strings$2,676-35%76-33$35$5,801,3786Lionsgate / Pantelion
9Romeo and Juliet (2013)$2,555298%21-1$122$1,132,2885Relativity Media
10Turbo$2,31312%62-7$37$82,891,56917Fox / DreamWorks Animation
11Instructions Not Included$2,1869%52-84$42$44,208,26011Lionsgate / Pantelion
12Reaching for the Moon$2,0269%2--$1,013$22,5031Wolfe Releasing
13In a World...$1,29298%18-4$72$2,931,72814Roadside Attractions
14Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story (2013 re-issue)$1,237196%32$412$25,6473Cinepix
15The World's End$1,12785%9-7$125$25,985,93812Focus
16Grace Unplugged$1,11426%37-44$30$2,486,8016Roadside Attractions
17The Heat$1,05438%28-14$38$159,535,95320Fox
18Big Sur$998151%5-8$200$32,7952Ketchup Entertainment
19The Spectacular Now$58524%12-6$49$6,848,69715A24
20The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$305-12%1-4$305$53,4987Rialto Pictures