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, Apr. 15 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Apr. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Captain America: The Winter Soldier$4,726,74036%3,9380$1,200$167,072,6872Disney
2Rio 2$4,260,70360%3,948--$1,079$46,255,8041Fox
3Draft Day$1,249,41443%2,781--$449$11,906,1681Lionsgate / Summit
4Oculus$1,147,32521%2,648--$433$14,098,7341Relativity Media
5Noah$1,040,65447%3,282-289$317$86,725,1713Paramount
6Divergent$1,006,42850%3,110-521$324$126,433,1644Lionsgate / Summit
7God's Not Dead$777,58138%1,860102$418$42,237,4194Freestyle / Pure Flix
8The Grand Budapest Hotel$600,70346%1,467204$409$40,502,0796Fox Searchlight
9Muppets Most Wanted$508,888103%2,261-791$225$46,512,2444Disney
10Mr. Peabody & Sherman$385,35290%2,001-930$193$105,851,3216Fox / DreamWorks Animation

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Apr. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Non-Stop (2014)$102,98542%762-962$135$89,629,9057Universal
2Bad Words$95,29340%763-311$125$7,289,5425Focus
3The LEGO Movie$91,96859%610-740$151$251,710,77710Warner Bros.
4Need For Speed$87,09054%613-1166$142$42,220,2145Disney / DreamWorks
5300: Rise of an Empire$71,99739%525-1030$137$105,144,6846Warner Bros.
6Sabotage (2014)$58,14015%751-1735$77$10,178,2543Open Road
7Son of God$56,14224%905424$62$59,071,0297Fox
8Frozen (2013)$48,24232%34423$140$399,529,93521Disney
9Cesar Chavez$39,09836%305-359$128$5,254,1253Lionsgate / Pantelion
10The Nut Job$27,74544%261-24$106$63,846,51813Open Road
11Gravity$19,85436%202-53$98$273,872,68828Warner Bros.
12Frankie & Alice$16,0802%1710$94$624,0332Lionsgate / CodeBlack Films
13Ride Along$15,0200%177-59$85$134,171,51013Universal
14Philomena$9,48644%157-40$60$37,590,96721Weinstein Company
15Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club$9,35236%135-290$69$15,866,6185Lionsgate
16The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$2,65717%101-29$26$258,360,28218Warner Bros. / New Line

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Apr. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$46,63974%370$1,261$522,7912Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Joe (2014)$13,31025%48--$277$129,8321Roadside Attractions
3The Unknown Known$10,00924%80--$125$170,2632RADiUS-TWC
4Dom Hemingway$9,57319%4238$228$137,5792Fox Searchlight
5Cuban Fury$7,74633%79--$98$70,6751eOne Films US
6The Railway Man$7,20428%4--$1,801$74,6911Weinstein Company
712 Years a Slave$5,74258%64-64$90$56,577,23126Fox Searchlight
83 Days to Kill$4,97454%83-48$60$30,463,5848Relativity Media
9Ernest & Celestine$3,40920%3915$87$218,4347GKIDS
10Her (2013)$3,05018%38-47$80$25,561,71017Warner Bros.
11Gloria (2014)$2,6361%247$110$2,069,94212Roadside Attractions
12August: Osage County$2,497152%27-15$92$37,721,57116Weinstein Company
13Dallas Buyers Club$2,49363%33-19$76$27,276,16724Focus
14Veronica Mars$1,42316%23-51$62$3,312,4815Warner Bros.
15Watermark$1,103122%31$368$21,8132eOne Films US
16Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$134191%1-1$134$29,57710Rialto Pictures