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, Mar. 4 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Mar. 4 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Non-Stop (2014)$2,563,94027%3,090--$830$33,463,5251Universal
2Son of God$1,790,14922%3,260--$549$28,863,0291Fox
3The LEGO Movie$1,547,12222%3,770-120$410$211,954,0574Warner Bros.
4Pompeii$557,57541%2,6580$210$18,721,1052Sony / TriStar
5The Monuments Men$529,46332%3,002-62$176$66,564,3374Sony / Columbia
63 Days to Kill$508,06424%2,8720$177$21,670,4482Relativity Media
7RoboCop (2014)$480,88828%2,885-487$167$52,077,4473Sony / Columbia
8Frozen (2013)$387,23214%1,746-145$222$389,482,31315Disney
9About Last Night$326,66315%1,804-449$181$44,345,9193Sony / Screen Gems
10Ride Along$233,6259%1,869-317$125$127,609,6407Universal
11Philomena$171,27732%1,09793$156$34,912,85415Weinstein Company
12Endless Love (2014)$159,29031%1,874-1022$85$22,470,7103Universal
13Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$154,47912%1,317--$117$126,820,18211Paramount
14Lone Survivor$101,5955%1,017-499$100$123,539,82610Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Mar. 4 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1American Hustle$170,27511%94542$180$147,034,57412Sony / Columbia
212 Years a Slave$169,38312%41162$412$50,656,46020Fox Searchlight
3The Wind Rises$144,30125%496475$291$2,355,4792Disney
4The Wolf of Wall Street$120,5678%505-122$239$114,802,44210Paramount
5Gravity$120,050-2%340-8$353$270,720,99722Warner Bros.
6That Awkward Moment$97,18065%608-600$160$25,237,3355Focus
7The Nut Job$89,14621%752-483$119$60,954,9707Open Road
8Stalingrad (2014)$75,20620%308--$244$648,7381Sony / Columbia
9Dallas Buyers Club$64,5392%21641$299$25,453,15018Focus
10Nebraska$43,86426%28979$152$17,197,39716Paramount Vantage
11Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$38,71655%367-440$105$49,926,4837Paramount
12Her (2013)$38,2003%2500$153$24,669,75411Warner Bros.
13Winter's Tale$34,35421%705-2260$49$12,377,0053Warner Bros.
14Repentance$33,90414%152--$223$565,0401Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
15August: Osage County$29,21630%346-179$84$37,118,11710Weinstein Company
16The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$28,46935%215-51$132$257,010,76012Warner Bros. / New Line
17The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$17,98414%198-42$91$423,939,26415Lionsgate
18Gloria (2014)$17,97120%102-8$176$1,623,3006Roadside Attractions
19I, Frankenstein$15,44321%169-48$91$18,878,6686Lionsgate
20The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$10,9238%163-45$67$57,922,64410Fox
21Walking With Dinosaurs$10,89648%195-19$56$35,802,23211Fox
22Labor Day (2013)$7,08856%107-311$66$13,262,1455Paramount
23In Secret$5,50514%109-157$51$430,6632Roadside Attractions
24Vampire Academy$3,83210%111-425$35$7,732,1204Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Mar. 4 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Highway$8,531107%80-17$107$503,2352UTV Motion Pictures
2The Legend Of Hercules$6,762-7%89-21$76$18,768,9998Lionsgate / Summit
3The Book Thief$6,296-22%73-11$86$21,291,83617Fox
4Inside Llewyn Davis$6,14242%65-42$94$13,169,59613CBS Films
5Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$3,67323%9158$40$8,277,90714Weinstein Company
6Devil's Due$3,29912%48-36$69$15,779,6417Fox
7Free Birds$2,88320%48-8$60$55,687,80818Relativity Media
8Grudge Match$2,4436%75-33$33$29,788,80010Warner Bros.
9Ernest & Celestine$425-15%1--$425$14,0031GKIDS
10Hasee Toh Phasee$201-35%9-24$22$645,6344Reliance Entertainment
11Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$122-33%10$122$21,8634Rialto Pictures