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 Tue, Feb. 25 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Feb. 25 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The LEGO Movie$1,573,32427%3,890115$404$185,829,9293Warner Bros.
23 Days to Kill$1,097,52526%2,872--$382$14,209,0531Relativity Media
3Pompeii$1,001,63731%2,658--$377$12,107,7691Sony / TriStar
4RoboCop (2014)$819,15923%3,3720$243$45,493,0062Sony / Columbia
5The Monuments Men$802,00231%3,064-19$262$59,269,9413Sony / Columbia
6About Last Night$583,6985%2,2530$259$39,421,9972Sony / Screen Gems
7Ride Along$283,86518%2,186-331$130$123,653,5156Universal
8Frozen (2013)$270,69619%1,891-210$143$384,605,90514Disney
9Endless Love (2014)$260,64038%2,8960$90$20,257,6602Universal
10Winter's Tale$244,15741%2,9650$82$11,684,5772Warner Bros.
11Philomena$181,62631%1,004-221$181$33,040,21314Weinstein Company
12Lone Survivor$159,18011%1,516-497$105$122,012,4869Universal
13That Awkward Moment$150,39542%1,208-714$124$24,309,8694Focus
14The Nut Job$59,67016%1,235-683$48$60,016,9776Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Feb. 25 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1American Hustle$174,86025%903-169$194$144,430,11111Sony / Columbia
2The Wolf of Wall Street$142,60427%627-124$227$113,076,5339Paramount
3Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$84,42734%807-471$105$49,444,8276Paramount
4Gravity$82,18913%348-7$236$269,429,93721Warner Bros.
512 Years a Slave$75,36835%349-37$216$49,208,60419Fox Searchlight
6August: Osage County$57,21137%525-485$109$36,714,2269Weinstein Company
7Nebraska$54,32914%210-114$259$16,620,89115Paramount Vantage
8Her (2013)$53,09638%250-5$212$24,071,60410Warner Bros.
9Dallas Buyers Club$34,78428%175-48$199$24,808,79617Focus
10The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$32,25132%266-19$121$256,693,50211Warner Bros. / New Line
11In Secret$29,8749%266--$112$322,9591Roadside Attractions
12Labor Day (2013)$29,49055%418-1246$71$13,154,9724Paramount
13Gloria (2014)$25,78513%11012$234$1,393,5215Roadside Attractions
14The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$25,20826%240-86$105$423,671,89014Lionsgate
15Vampire Academy$21,13810%536-2140$39$7,646,7593Weinstein Company
16The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$15,9688%2087$77$57,751,5099Fox
17I, Frankenstein$15,56629%217-251$72$18,694,1305Lionsgate
18Inside Llewyn Davis$10,391-23%10721$97$13,095,87712CBS Films
19The Legend Of Hercules$9,86413%11020$90$18,666,5447Lionsgate / Summit
20Walking With Dinosaurs$7,8758%214-34$37$35,649,88610Fox
21Grudge Match$3,9986%108-183$37$29,755,0639Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Feb. 25 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Wind Rises$33,79737%21--$1,609$514,2271Disney
2Highway$26,21780%97--$270$367,4101UTV Motion Pictures
3The Book Thief$7,7846%84-10$93$21,207,52116Fox
4Devil's Due$5,8159%84-39$69$15,733,2156Fox
5Hasee Toh Phasee$2,22755%33-44$67$638,0063Reliance Entertainment
6Knights of Badassdom$1,88511%31$628$117,8715eOne Films US
7Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$1,535-59%33-1$47$8,247,84513Weinstein Company
8Free Birds$1,246-5%56-19$22$55,654,39517Relativity Media
9Barefoot$7913%18--$44$13,3271Roadside Attractions
10The Pretty One$73647%54$147$12,4233Dada Films
11Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$25610%10$256$20,5073Rialto Pictures
12All Is Lost$150-14%5-4$30$6,263,26619Roadside Attractions
13Gimme Shelter (2014)$12666%5-10$25$1,359,7655Roadside Attractions