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, May. 5 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, May. 5 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Amazing Spider-Man 2$5,168,281-78%4,324--$1,195$96,776,6181Sony / Columbia
2The Other Woman (2014)$1,040,816-70%3,23833$321$48,593,5522Fox
3Heaven is for Real$600,279-77%2,930225$205$66,104,1973Sony / TriStar
4Captain America: The Winter Soldier$511,100-76%3,179-441$161$237,666,5805Disney
5Rio 2$338,056-86%3,314-389$102$106,920,2844Fox
6Brick Mansions$294,614-72%2,6470$111$15,923,6022Relativity Media
7God's Not Dead$153,899-71%1,330-270$116$55,715,2077Freestyle / Pure Flix
8Divergent$145,690-74%1,639-427$89$142,814,6997Lionsgate / Summit
9The Quiet Ones$131,171-70%2,0270$65$6,886,8732Lionsgate
10Bears$118,224-79%1,79070$66$14,484,4403Disneynature
11Transcendence$116,131-65%1,775-1680$65$21,482,3613Warner Bros.
12Draft Day$107,093-71%1,354-726$79$26,533,1404Lionsgate / Summit
13A Haunted House 2$98,424-68%1,328-982$74$16,222,8873Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, May. 5 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Grand Budapest Hotel$157,131-68%884-137$178$51,706,0769Fox Searchlight
2Noah$82,772-71%929-675$89$99,108,0596Paramount
3Oculus$69,371-62%884-997$78$26,771,7364Relativity Media
4The Railway Man$42,767-69%1648$261$1,672,1214Weinstein Company
5Mr. Peabody & Sherman$18,049-85%410-58$44$108,566,1119Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6The LEGO Movie$14,673-79%220-83$67$253,121,54813Warner Bros.
7Non-Stop (2014)$12,975-67%218-34$60$90,729,17510Universal
8300: Rise of an Empire$12,958-66%235-90$55$106,049,1389Warner Bros.
9Son of God$3,558-65%126-85$28$59,635,13310Fox
10The Nut Job$2,828-83%101-59$28$64,241,59516Open Road

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, May. 5 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$17,970-62%370$486$1,344,5055Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Decoding Annie Parker$9,59168%13--$738$26,3721eOne Films US
3Belle$9,493-72%4--$2,373$116,0711Fox Searchlight
4Blue Ruin$8,247-62%60--$137$129,7332RADiUS-TWC
52 States$8,145-83%96-41$85$2,031,5313UTV Motion Pictures
6Cesar Chavez$4,980-66%9752$51$5,555,8466Lionsgate / Pantelion
7Walk of Shame$4,393-63%51--$86$44,1441Focus World
8Sabotage (2014)$3,030-63%60-15$51$10,474,7186Open Road
9Dom Hemingway$2,918-59%47-72$62$499,2205Fox Searchlight
10Joe (2014)$2,515-68%39-2$64$344,3154Roadside Attractions
113 Days to Kill$2,153-69%64-21$34$30,657,69111Relativity Media
12Godzilla: The Japanese Original$1,857-68%1211$155$42,7443Rialto Pictures
13Gravity$1,664-66%65-40$26$274,086,61531Warner Bros.
14Bad Words$1,639-67%40-74$41$7,720,7968Focus
15Philomena$919-73%22-11$42$37,692,93224Weinstein Company
16The Unknown Known$651-21%15-7$43$263,2645RADiUS-TWC
17Watermark$629-75%11-5$57$77,4275eOne Films US
18Gloria (2014)$279-81%90$31$2,099,97115Roadside Attractions
19Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$240-69%1-1$240$40,74413Rialto Pictures
20August: Osage County$103-63%3-4$34$37,738,50319Weinstein Company