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, Jan. 2 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jan. 2 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Frozen (2013)$5,304,617-39%3,3350$1,591$277,116,2046Disney
2The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$4,050,170-48%3,9280$1,031$213,384,4223Warner Bros. / New Line
3The Wolf of Wall Street$2,775,143-51%2,5370$1,094$49,895,1141Paramount
4Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$2,630,663-46%3,5070$750$98,079,5132Paramount
5American Hustle$2,555,751-53%2,5070$1,019$75,518,9163Sony / Columbia
6Saving Mr. Banks$1,997,068-52%2,1100$946$50,263,3893Disney
7The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$1,924,565-53%2,9090$662$37,469,2371Fox
8The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$1,681,364-42%2,31510$726$400,088,3906Lionsgate
9Walking With Dinosaurs$1,232,342-39%3,24312$380$27,603,5932Fox
1047 Ronin$1,209,695-53%2,6890$450$27,630,4651Universal
11Grudge Match$1,033,505-54%2,8380$364$19,510,0571Warner Bros.
12Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$641,024-54%1,788-15$359$47,314,9663Lionsgate
13Justin Bieber's Believe$214,659-27%1,0370$207$5,389,4161Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jan. 2 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Philomena$281,049-49%7270$387$18,143,3516Weinstein Company
2Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$224,352-59%9750$230$6,005,8185Weinstein Company
3Inside Llewyn Davis$195,061-53%1611$1,212$5,812,3504CBS Films
4The Book Thief$131,764-39%48118$274$18,562,6088Fox
5Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$130,620-30%3030$431$117,173,70914Sony / Columbia
6Thor: The Dark World$115,945-43%3190$363$202,972,6978Disney
7Nebraska$106,825-51%2500$427$6,385,0487Paramount Vantage
8Gravity$102,463-43%1750$586$255,144,42613Warner Bros.
9Dhoom 3$70,400-74%220-19$320$7,536,1382Yash Raj Films
1012 Years a Slave$68,182-45%1547$443$38,143,34211Fox Searchlight
11Free Birds$57,672-31%2430$237$54,684,3649Relativity Media
12Ender's Game$55,775-43%24913$224$61,436,3129Lionsgate / Summit
13Dallas Buyers Club$54,991-42%124-13$443$15,997,1889Focus
14Last Vegas$48,902-33%2210$221$62,913,3539CBS Films
15Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$43,427-37%2570$169$101,450,64010Paramount
16Captain Phillips$27,573-43%1110$248$104,713,70212Sony / Columbia
17Despicable Me 2$24,750-41%165-10$150$367,860,09526Universal
18Delivery Man$24,066-40%1360$177$29,768,7516Disney / DreamWorks
19The Best Man Holiday$21,600-58%120-75$180$70,386,7507Universal
20Escape Plan$12,413-47%107-3$116$25,013,46211Lionsgate / Summit
21Out of the Furnace$8,883-42%1020$87$11,164,4494Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jan. 2 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Her (2013)$137,876-49%470$2,934$2,264,9762Warner Bros.
2August: Osage County$26,129-58%5--$5,226$341,7691Weinstein Company
3Lone Survivor$18,214-48%20$9,107$241,8281Universal
4Homefront$12,931-44%750$172$20,158,4925Open Road
5All Is Lost$9,817-47%67-16$147$6,000,57811Roadside Attractions
6Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$5,984-39%53-32$113$68,497,52921Fox
7Lee Daniels' The Butler$4,382-44%340$129$116,192,31120Weinstein Company
8Enough Said$3,692-55%27-15$137$17,476,40515Fox Searchlight
9Black Nativity$1,327-55%24-39$55$7,008,5865Fox Searchlight
10Oldboy (2013)$1,115-45%210$53$2,193,6585FilmDistrict
11Don Jon$855-51%310$28$24,471,98914Relativity Media
12The Family (2013)$566-54%290$20$36,914,75716Relativity Media