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, Jan. 20 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Jan. 20 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ride Along$7,110,210-32%2,663--$2,670$48,626,3801Universal
2The Nut Job$6,277,0007%3,427--$1,832$25,700,0001Open Road
3Frozen (2013)$4,296,6988%2,979-260$1,442$336,699,9139Disney
4Lone Survivor$3,870,755-24%2,989114$1,295$76,739,6914Universal
5Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$2,582,745-21%3,387--$763$18,034,7261Paramount
6American Hustle$1,898,632-21%2,204-425$861$117,596,1866Sony / Columbia
7August: Osage County$1,436,365-30%2,0511146$700$19,390,3564Weinstein Company
8The Wolf of Wall Street$1,301,040-28%1,930-591$674$91,147,0214Paramount
9Saving Mr. Banks$955,486-7%2,449-222$390$76,115,0126Disney
10Devil's Due$837,138-54%2,544--$329$9,145,3581Fox
11The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$835,207-21%1,815-1260$460$249,360,0096Warner Bros. / New Line
12Her (2013)$797,775-28%1,7290$461$15,831,6195Warner Bros.
13The Legend Of Hercules$757,752-25%2,1040$360$15,130,5462Lionsgate / Summit
14The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$568,638-16%1,328-434$428$418,019,6119Lionsgate
15Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$411,117-24%1,731-1281$238$122,510,2395Paramount
16The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$351,4487%1,037-1547$339$55,447,2894Fox
17Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$202,127-48%1,569-1314$129$31,535,3523Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Jan. 20 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gravity$440,224-10%944789$466$258,717,93016Warner Bros.
212 Years a Slave$429,491-1%761647$564$41,073,62714Fox Searchlight
3Philomena$288,162-18%505-102$571$24,312,0279Weinstein Company
4Dallas Buyers Club$225,695-20%419294$539$18,038,91512Focus
5Nebraska$203,517-8%408-113$499$9,861,44210Paramount Vantage
6Inside Llewyn Davis$194,907-21%585-144$333$11,239,3327CBS Films
7Captain Phillips$126,752-5%903789$140$105,768,18515Sony / Columbia
8Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$125,37036%256-8$490$118,552,55617Sony / Columbia
9Walking With Dinosaurs$106,4741%454-885$235$34,402,7285Fox
1047 Ronin$66,885-45%343-1016$195$37,667,1054Universal
11The Book Thief$60,5853%190-113$319$20,217,87811Fox
12Thor: The Dark World$53,350--185-72$288$204,286,53611Disney
13Free Birds$45,58117%199-33$229$55,320,37612Relativity Media
14Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$34,298-20%391-649$88$52,256,3876Lionsgate
15Grudge Match$30,953-19%408-1597$76$29,090,2404Warner Bros.
16Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$26,10317%122-241$214$8,002,9808Weinstein Company
17Last Vegas$22,718-27%194-46$117$63,626,03912CBS Films
18Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$15,366-41%154-38$100$101,978,84013Paramount
19Lee Daniels' The Butler$15,192-5%119-17$128$116,544,50923Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Jan. 20 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Past$21,427--30--$714$398,0505Sony Pictures Classics
2The Invisible Woman$18,660--26--$718$279,4964Sony Pictures Classics
3Hubble 3D$16,786--12--$1,399$42,202,570201Warner Bros. / IMAX
4All Is Lost$14,97649%62-7$242$6,192,16514Roadside Attractions
5Blue Jasmine$10,208--28--$365$33,155,72826Sony Pictures Classics
6Delivery Man$10,120--79--$128$30,079,2509Disney / DreamWorks
7Out of the Furnace$8,861-21%9760$91$11,273,3487Relativity Media
8Space Station 3D$6,852--3--$2,284$89,873,976614IMAX
9Like Father, Like Son (2014)$4,469--2--$2,235$20,5131IFC Films
10Journey to the South Pacific$3,684--4--$921$108,0198IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
11Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$3,650--24-9$152$68,552,87624Fox
12Blue Is the Warmest Color$3,583--12--$299$2,147,00813IFC Films
13The Best Offer$2,066--6--$344$21,6263IFC Films
14In Bloom$1,954--2--$977$21,1422Big World Pictures
15Big Bad Wolves$1,545--6--$258$7,8871Magnolia / Magnet
16Contempt (2013 re-issue)$1,3765%2--$688$40,57520Rialto Pictures
17The Armstrong Lie$1,300--9--$144$368,80711Sony Pictures Classics
18Maidentrip$1,283--1--$1,283$17,6095First Run Features
19Born to Be Wild 3D$1,165--7--$166$23,137,632146Warner Bros. / IMAX
20Kill Your Darlings$1,083--12--$90$1,015,19614Sony Pictures Classics
21Life of a King$478--16--$30$5,7091Millennium Entertainment
22Under the Sea 3D$414--4--$104$33,724,945258Warner Bros. / IMAX
23Muscle Shoals$392--11--$36$682,00517Magnolia Pictures
24Wadjda$342--8--$43$1,422,51819Sony Pictures Classics
25To the Arctic 3D$179--8--$22$13,765,76492Warner Bros. / IMAX
26Indigo Children$131152%1--$131$1,9601Striped Entertainment
27Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1$55-66%10$55$4,7902Anchor Bay Films