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, Feb. 10 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Feb. 10 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The LEGO Movie$3,494,064-83%3,775--$926$72,544,3431Warner Bros.
2The Monuments Men$1,622,380-70%3,083--$526$23,625,8131Sony / Columbia
3Ride Along$559,845-76%2,800-67$200$105,872,3754Universal
4Frozen (2013)$443,330-79%2,460-294$180$369,080,76712Disney
5Lone Survivor$387,315-74%2,869-416$135$113,239,4617Universal
6That Awkward Moment$362,052-69%2,8090$129$16,907,2732Focus
7Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$260,121-71%2,139-768$122$44,660,8234Paramount
8Vampire Academy$242,653-72%2,676--$91$4,164,3951Weinstein Company
9Labor Day (2013)$238,648-70%2,5840$92$10,365,8292Paramount
10The Nut Job$227,223-80%3,004-468$76$55,252,9674Open Road
11American Hustle$220,841-72%1,640-576$135$138,306,5629Sony / Columbia
12The Wolf of Wall Street$215,064-71%1,167-440$184$108,111,6527Paramount
13August: Osage County$126,375-70%1,327-992$95$34,416,8867Weinstein Company
14I, Frankenstein$123,642-71%1,427-1326$87$17,607,4913Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Feb. 10 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gravity$141,463-70%701-431$202$266,615,70019Warner Bros.
2Philomena$85,368-65%504-63$169$28,757,94312Weinstein Company
312 Years a Slave$73,739-69%678-494$109$47,421,57617Fox Searchlight
4Nebraska$67,061-68%525-350$128$15,010,33613Paramount Vantage
5The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$66,202-67%537-396$123$255,464,5769Warner Bros. / New Line
6Her (2013)$60,314-71%457-346$132$22,524,3468Warner Bros.
7Dallas Buyers Club$53,522-69%488-564$110$23,733,43315Focus
8The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$50,119-71%529-293$95$422,461,57212Lionsgate
9Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$26,670-61%346-74$77$124,820,9828Paramount
10Devil's Due$25,522-65%385-905$66$15,430,6854Fox
11The Legend Of Hercules$18,298-75%248-350$74$18,407,3665Lionsgate / Summit
12The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$15,494-66%242-168$64$57,213,6647Fox
13Walking With Dinosaurs$15,330-73%251-72$61$35,215,1408Fox
14Inside Llewyn Davis$14,417-68%129-85$112$12,770,87710CBS Films
15Grudge Match$13,250-66%341100$39$29,534,2117Warner Bros.
16The Book Thief$10,231-60%135-43$76$20,960,13414Fox
17Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$9,412-74%197-23$48$119,285,27420Sony / Columbia
18Captain Phillips$9,221-68%182-63$51$106,744,89618Sony / Columbia
19Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$5,684-71%103-47$55$32,390,7356Paramount
20Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$4,111-78%115-48$36$52,532,4419Lionsgate
21Free Birds$2,220-80%109-26$20$55,569,72515Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Feb. 10 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Gloria (2014)$21,359-72%6536$329$573,3363Roadside Attractions
2Hasee Toh Phasee$15,528-83%88--$176$352,5141Reliance Entertainment
3Gimme Shelter (2014)$4,252-74%76-271$56$1,339,3173Roadside Attractions
4Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$2,907-50%46-31$63$8,188,11911Weinstein Company
5Last Vegas$1,951-60%60-44$33$63,883,03815CBS Films
6Knights of Badassdom$1,257173%9-2$140$88,0533eOne Films US
7Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$1,249-43%1--$1,249$8,5471Rialto Pictures
8At Middleton$411-65%8-12$51$50,3642Anchor Bay / Freestyle
9All Is Lost$175-79%12-13$15$6,253,33717Roadside Attractions
10Lee Daniels' The Butler$171-73%11-41$16$116,631,48126Weinstein Company
11The Pretty One$147-66%1--$147$1,6311Dada Films
12Love Is in the Air$102-14%3-3$34$7,7382Focus World
13Demi-Soeur$99-46%1--$99$7331Rialto Premieres