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 Wed, May. 21 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, May. 21 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Godzilla (2014)$4,962,197-29%3,952--$1,256$112,767,0361Warner Bros.
2Neighbors (2014)$2,018,330-19%3,31132$610$97,675,3552Universal
3The Amazing Spider-Man 2$1,022,545-25%3,991-333$256$176,070,7753Sony / Columbia
4Million Dollar Arm$655,839-24%3,019--$217$12,848,7361Disney
5The Other Woman (2014)$572,892-15%3,054-252$188$73,542,4514Fox
6Heaven is for Real$363,408-15%2,893-155$126$83,430,4675Sony / TriStar
7Captain America: The Winter Soldier$294,182-15%2,271-430$130$251,546,1497Disney
8Rio 2$220,613-16%2,371-602$93$118,853,4746Fox
9Moms' Night Out$166,851-27%1,0462$160$7,770,2202Sony / TriStar
10Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return$148,623-11%2,578-80$58$7,078,7072Clarius Entertainment

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, May. 21 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Belle$106,412-2%173128$615$2,091,8003Fox Searchlight
2The Grand Budapest Hotel$105,878-4%630-140$168$55,818,03211Fox Searchlight
3Divergent$97,977-11%991-242$99$147,116,2089Lionsgate / Summit
4God's Not Dead$78,282-12%780-220$100$59,180,4229Freestyle / Pure Flix
5Bears$50,988-3%580-663$88$17,004,0335Disneynature
6Brick Mansions$46,176-21%724-1230$64$19,765,6744Relativity Media
7The LEGO Movie$37,982-11%355-46$107$254,472,42915Warner Bros.
8The Railway Man$33,350-10%1832$182$2,854,7826Weinstein Company
9Draft Day$24,217-5%495-325$49$28,467,8806Lionsgate / Summit
10Noah$21,912-4%286-191$77$100,334,3528Paramount
11Transcendence$20,699-26%315-200$66$22,710,8025Warner Bros.
12Non-Stop (2014)$19,820-10%220-16$90$91,499,90012Universal
13Mr. Peabody & Sherman$17,041-22%319-38$53$109,371,69711Fox / DreamWorks Animation
14The Quiet Ones$12,713-15%341-792$37$8,397,7464Lionsgate
15A Haunted House 2$10,56016%124-402$85$17,087,3685Open Road
16Oculus$7,983-14%140-270$57$27,457,7686Relativity Media
17300: Rise of an Empire$7,099-41%155-36$46$106,520,92711Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, May. 21 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Chef$75,78613%7266$1,053$1,206,4502Open Road
2Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$31,62919%371$855$1,924,3947Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Fed Up$21,3304%55--$388$437,4692RADiUS-TWC
4The Immigrant$6,82117%3--$2,274$63,3041Weinstein Company
52 States$3,272-3%32-27$102$2,231,7165UTV Motion Pictures
6The Hornet's Nest$3,13121%1713$184$61,7542Freestyle Releasing
7Bad Words$2,413-21%8354$29$7,772,07410Focus
8Blue Ruin$1,662-1%24-37$69$244,0874RADiUS-TWC
9Son of God$941-5%46-22$20$59,683,94112Fox
10Godzilla: The Japanese Original$8914%8-21$111$120,2855Rialto Pictures
11Joe (2014)$356-2%10-13$36$373,0166Roadside Attractions
12Philomena$283-53%9-4$31$37,709,46326Weinstein Company
13The Unknown Known$256106%3-3$85$267,3537RADiUS-TWC