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 Fri, Jan. 10 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleFri, Jan. 10 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Lone Survivor$14,403,75055030%2,8752873$5,010$14,785,3113Universal
2The Legend Of Hercules$3,161,415--2,104--$1,503$3,161,4151Lionsgate / Summit
3Frozen (2013)$3,116,299186%3,239-79$962$305,707,2878Disney
4The Wolf of Wall Street$2,717,32885%2,521-36$1,078$72,303,8793Paramount
5American Hustle$2,572,235113%2,629111$978$95,535,1635Sony / Columbia
6Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$2,100,937180%2,88316$729$24,272,3262Paramount
7The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$2,045,06785%3,075-655$665$236,249,5025Warner Bros. / New Line
8Saving Mr. Banks$1,944,201133%2,671561$728$64,315,4275Disney
9Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$1,869,112141%3,012-395$621$114,287,0564Paramount
10Her (2013)$1,848,0811619%1,7291682$1,069$5,247,3814Warner Bros.
11The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$1,311,790122%2,584-338$508$49,602,5523Fox
12The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$1,208,094143%1,762-381$686$410,600,7458Lionsgate
13Grudge Match$577,69073%2,005-851$288$27,081,1203Warner Bros.
1447 Ronin$468,85516%1,359-1331$345$35,268,7403Universal
15Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$298,193175%1,040-434$287$51,062,0905Lionsgate
16Walking With Dinosaurs$216,14835%1,339-1221$161$32,525,1754Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleFri, Jan. 10 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1August: Osage County$2,194,62511701%905900$2,425$2,740,0103Weinstein Company
2Inside Llewyn Davis$557,891270%729573$765$7,991,0176CBS Films
3Philomena$396,79630%6070$654$20,952,8248Weinstein Company
4Nebraska$235,757134%521281$453$7,565,4119Paramount Vantage
5The Book Thief$117,57764%303-26$388$19,467,31110Fox
6Gravity$112,842120%155-10$728$255,918,54615Warner Bros.
7Thor: The Dark World$85,088127%257-34$331$203,704,67410Disney
8Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$76,968-24%363-647$212$7,562,1717Weinstein Company
912 Years a Slave$69,76260%114-37$612$38,703,53713Fox Searchlight
10Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$68,848179%264-14$261$117,807,60516Sony / Columbia
11Dallas Buyers Club$66,45268%125-3$532$16,508,53511Focus
12Last Vegas$52,53688%240-17$219$63,267,44511CBS Films
13Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$37,665118%192-28$196$101,732,48212Paramount
14Free Birds$30,138121%232-21$130$54,994,96411Relativity Media
15Captain Phillips$28,245--1149$248$104,920,29614Sony / Columbia
16Lee Daniels' The Butler$27,150121%1363$200$116,363,84722Weinstein Company
17Despicable Me 2$13,015146%137-14$95$367,996,20528Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleFri, Jan. 10 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Dhoom 3$22,44240%43-95$522$7,955,1534Yash Raj Films
2Escape Plan$10,145110%77-7$132$25,092,62913Lionsgate / Summit
3All Is Lost$9,55843%69-2$139$6,081,08313Roadside Attractions
4Justin Bieber's Believe$8,108-81%75-962$108$6,165,7223Open Road
5Out of the Furnace$4,48310%37-22$121$11,205,5906Relativity Media
6Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$2,918247%33-6$88$68,526,43323Fox
7Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1$1,036--1--$1,036$1,0361Anchor Bay Films