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 Sun, Feb. 9 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Feb. 9 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The LEGO Movie$21,142,548-31%3,775--$5,601$69,050,2791Warner Bros.
2The Monuments Men$5,478,744-43%3,083--$1,777$22,003,4331Sony / Columbia
3Ride Along$2,309,970-51%2,800-67$825$105,312,5304Universal
4Frozen (2013)$2,157,313-35%2,460-294$877$368,637,43712Disney
5Lone Survivor$1,477,535-45%2,869-416$515$112,852,1467Universal
6That Awkward Moment$1,173,481-50%2,8090$418$16,545,2212Focus
7The Nut Job$1,160,697-38%3,004-468$386$55,025,7444Open Road
8Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$885,061-49%2,139-768$414$44,400,7024Paramount
9Vampire Academy$876,014-46%2,676--$327$3,921,7421Weinstein Company
10Labor Day (2013)$796,337-46%2,5840$308$10,127,1812Paramount
11American Hustle$784,801-49%1,640-576$479$138,085,7219Sony / Columbia
12The Wolf of Wall Street$733,352-40%1,167-440$628$107,896,5887Paramount
13I, Frankenstein$421,436-38%1,427-1326$295$17,483,8493Lionsgate
14August: Osage County$418,373-40%1,327-992$315$34,290,5117Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Feb. 9 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gravity$473,160-42%701-431$675$266,474,23719Warner Bros.
2Philomena$242,942-33%504-63$482$28,672,57512Weinstein Company
312 Years a Slave$239,312-37%678-494$353$47,347,83717Fox Searchlight
4Nebraska$207,520-36%525-350$395$14,943,27513Paramount Vantage
5Her (2013)$205,689-40%457-346$450$22,464,0328Warner Bros.
6The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$203,444-38%537-396$379$255,398,3749Warner Bros. / New Line
7The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$172,717-47%529-293$326$422,411,45312Lionsgate
8Dallas Buyers Club$172,556-40%488-564$354$23,679,91115Focus
9Devil's Due$73,579-52%385-905$191$15,405,1634Fox
10The Legend Of Hercules$73,247-28%248-350$295$18,389,0685Lionsgate / Summit
11Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$67,614-45%346-74$195$124,794,3128Paramount
12Walking With Dinosaurs$56,202-33%251-72$224$35,199,8108Fox
13The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$45,367-49%242-168$187$57,198,1707Fox
14Inside Llewyn Davis$44,404-43%129-85$344$12,756,46010CBS Films
15Grudge Match$39,287-41%341100$115$29,520,9617Warner Bros.
16Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$36,089-42%197-23$183$119,275,86220Sony / Columbia
17Captain Phillips$29,189-43%182-63$160$106,735,67518Sony / Columbia
18The Book Thief$25,674-45%135-43$190$20,949,90314Fox
19Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$19,814-35%103-47$192$32,385,0516Paramount
20Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$18,953-46%115-48$165$52,528,3309Lionsgate
21Free Birds$10,891-38%109-26$100$55,567,50515Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Feb. 9 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hasee Toh Phasee$90,738-41%88--$1,031$336,9851Reliance Entertainment
2Gloria (2014)$75,617-34%6536$1,163$551,9773Roadside Attractions
3Gimme Shelter (2014)$16,130-36%76-271$212$1,335,0653Roadside Attractions
4Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$5,771-38%46-31$125$8,185,21211Weinstein Company
5Last Vegas$4,925-57%60-44$82$63,881,08715CBS Films
6Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$2,178-29%1--$2,178$7,2981Rialto Pictures
7At Middleton$1,168-20%8-12$146$49,9532Anchor Bay / Freestyle
8All Is Lost$841-43%12-13$70$6,253,16217Roadside Attractions
9Lee Daniels' The Butler$629-15%11-41$57$116,631,31026Weinstein Company
10Knights of Badassdom$461-86%9-2$51$86,7963eOne Films US
11The Pretty One$430-42%1--$430$1,4841Dada Films
12Demi-Soeur$185-24%1--$185$6341Rialto Premieres
13Love Is in the Air$118-79%3-3$39$7,6362Focus World