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 Mon, Dec. 30 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Dec. 30 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Frozen (2013)$7,898,402-6%3,335-205$2,368$256,016,1976Disney
2The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$6,513,554-23%3,9280$1,658$196,014,8323Warner Bros. / New Line
3Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$4,383,103-18%3,5070$1,250$87,562,6532Paramount
4The Wolf of Wall Street$3,993,764-25%2,537--$1,574$38,146,9011Paramount
5American Hustle$3,990,011-23%2,5070$1,592$63,159,1753Sony / Columbia
6Saving Mr. Banks$2,880,725-22%2,1100$1,365$40,156,8753Disney
7The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$2,801,066-19%2,909--$963$28,161,5341Fox
8The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$2,489,456-15%2,315-634$1,075$393,474,7786Lionsgate
947 Ronin$1,801,630-36%2,689--$670$22,414,1601Universal
10Walking With Dinosaurs$1,740,387-19%3,24312$537$22,684,8652Fox
11Grudge Match$1,472,863-24%2,838--$519$14,613,0781Warner Bros.
12Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$1,084,641-34%1,788-406$607$44,290,9113Lionsgate
13Justin Bieber's Believe$416,188-23%1,037--$401$4,686,2551Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Dec. 30 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Philomena$383,880-27%727-11$528$16,828,8636Weinstein Company
2Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$361,072-33%975971$370$4,911,2855Weinstein Company
3Inside Llewyn Davis$285,138-25%16113$1,771$4,904,8114CBS Films
4Dhoom 3$169,052-49%220-19$768$6,986,8252Yash Raj Films
5The Book Thief$156,556-10%481-199$325$18,041,1428Fox
6Thor: The Dark World$151,512-15%319-797$475$202,515,1228Disney
7Nebraska$146,206-29%250-60$585$5,857,7427Paramount Vantage
8Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$135,905-7%303-10$449$116,737,75214Sony / Columbia
9Gravity$129,529-13%175-127$740$254,723,08313Warner Bros.
1012 Years a Slave$84,685-23%154-147$550$37,883,64811Fox Searchlight
11Ender's Game$64,937-9%24962$261$61,235,4449Lionsgate / Summit
12Dallas Buyers Club$63,641-26%124-206$513$15,794,1299Focus
13Free Birds$57,372-14%24359$236$54,492,2789Relativity Media
14Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$46,860-32%257-21$182$101,309,93110Paramount
15Last Vegas$43,328-39%221-112$196$62,736,3299CBS Films
16The Best Man Holiday$37,800-22%120-231$315$70,287,7507Universal
17Captain Phillips$33,277-17%111-61$300$104,602,00012Sony / Columbia
18Despicable Me 2$30,525-14%165-32$185$367,766,87026Universal
19Delivery Man$27,494-22%136-527$202$29,674,8926Disney / DreamWorks
20Escape Plan$12,029-43%107-31$112$24,968,86711Lionsgate / Summit
21Out of the Furnace$9,405-16%102-626$92$11,131,1934Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Dec. 30 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Her (2013)$169,943-20%4741$3,616$1,711,9372Warner Bros.
2August: Osage County$37,342-33%5--$7,468$216,6441Weinstein Company
3Lone Survivor$20,999-31%2--$10,500$174,8381Universal
4Homefront$12,600-33%75-600$168$20,110,5285Open Road
5All Is Lost$12,591-35%67-16$188$5,960,15211Roadside Attractions
6Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$5,802-21%53-32$109$68,476,63221Fox
7Lee Daniels' The Butler$4,815-20%34-9$142$116,175,11220Weinstein Company
8Enough Said$4,198-39%27-15$155$17,458,94415Fox Searchlight
9Black Nativity$1,993-28%24-39$83$7,002,8495Fox Searchlight
10The Family (2013)$1,305-35%290$45$36,911,96116Relativity Media
11Don Jon$921-23%31-1$30$24,469,23514Relativity Media
12Oldboy (2013)$890-31%210$42$2,190,0725FilmDistrict