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. 26 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Nov. 26 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$15,960,30930%4,163--$3,834$186,356,3171Lionsgate
2Thor: The Dark World$1,941,50043%3,713-128$523$171,219,2853Disney
3Delivery Man$1,095,84949%3,036--$361$9,776,3081Disney / DreamWorks
4The Best Man Holiday$1,010,2958%2,04117$495$52,309,4552Universal
5Free Birds$925,93933%3,071-439$302$50,278,9084Relativity Media
6Last Vegas$579,78334%2,926-311$198$54,897,0764CBS Films
7Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$443,79720%2,625-565$169$96,247,3535Paramount
8Gravity$433,11729%1,845-715$235$246,177,0418Warner Bros.
912 Years a Slave$389,30329%1,47463$264$30,118,1466Fox Searchlight
10Ender's Game$307,46330%2,035-1201$151$57,738,8644Lionsgate / Summit
11Captain Phillips$252,48738%1,656-970$152$101,140,9747Sony / Columbia
12About Time$183,75040%1,050-230$175$14,137,3634Universal
13Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$155,54417%1,121-524$139$114,516,6769Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Nov. 26 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Dallas Buyers Club$319,46524%666482$480$6,950,4784Focus
2Despicable Me 2$56,01031%295-10$190$366,474,43521Universal
3All Is Lost$47,69624%347-136$137$5,030,7976Roadside Attractions
4Enough Said$26,46622%233-160$114$17,038,12810Fox Searchlight
5Gori Tere Pyaar Mein$24,36469%112--$218$238,2821Reliance Entertainment
6Prisoners$20,57343%255-100$81$60,840,03010Warner Bros.
7Escape Plan$19,52661%267-420$73$24,491,6736Lionsgate / Summit
8Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$18,87428%185-30$102$68,096,41616Fox
9We're the Millers$16,07420%195-108$82$150,237,71316Warner Bros. / New Line
10Insidious Chapter 2$15,97121%18518$86$83,341,75111FilmDistrict
11The Counselor$11,14952%129-352$86$16,816,4025Fox
12The Family (2013)$10,10117%12696$80$36,737,97511Relativity Media
13Lee Daniels' The Butler$9,15525%124-52$74$115,586,71715Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Nov. 26 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Book Thief$82,92426%7041$1,185$1,456,1773Fox
2Frozen (2013)$51,7248%1--$51,724$342,8391Disney
3Nebraska$31,5787%2824$1,128$576,4892Paramount Vantage
4Philomena$12,164-7%4--$3,041$153,7091Weinstein Company
5Instructions Not Included$10,14628%8033$127$44,323,99513Lionsgate / Pantelion
6Don Jon$5,57332%36-12$155$24,266,8799Relativity Media
7I'm in Love with a Church Girl$4,63172%17-38$272$2,387,7306High Top Releasing
8Romeo and Juliet (2013)$2,091328%12-17$174$1,156,5177Relativity Media
9Baggage Claim$2,013-15%46-62$44$21,508,0619Fox Searchlight
10Diana$1,79570%26-57$69$334,4844eOne Films US
11Runner Runner$1,19837%38-38$32$19,305,9138Fox
12The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$884--1--$884$59,2259Rialto Pictures
13The World's End$804136%6-2$134$25,997,36914Focus
14In a World...$6130%90$68$2,955,87216Roadside Attractions
15Grace Unplugged$27548%10-19$28$2,505,9018Roadside Attractions
16Reaching for the Moon$132-62%1-1$132$39,0903Wolfe Releasing
17Big Sur$123846%10$123$34,5974Ketchup Entertainment