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 Thu, Jul. 3 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jul. 3 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Transformers: Age of Extinction$9,660,41825%4,233--$2,282$138,345,7691Paramount
2Tammy$5,518,172-11%3,400--$1,623$11,729,5400Warner Bros. / New Line
3Deliver Us from Evil (2014)$2,657,138-7%3,049--$871$5,511,8520Sony / Screen Gems
4Earth to Echo$2,552,979-4%3,230--$790$5,202,8990Relativity Media
522 Jump Street$2,491,95026%3,32418$750$149,466,2933Sony / Columbia
6How to Train Your Dragon 2$2,444,11224%3,311-957$738$131,254,3643Fox / DreamWorks Animation
7Maleficent$1,529,47927%2,443-1007$626$207,760,4885Disney
8Jersey Boys$1,095,42825%2,630-275$417$31,535,7952Warner Bros.
9Think Like a Man Too$1,091,56732%1,729-496$631$52,298,7242Sony / Screen Gems
10Edge of Tomorrow$812,36855%1,538-1674$528$87,227,1534Warner Bros.
11The Fault in Our Stars$767,75411%1,866-1474$411$113,403,5294Fox
12America (2014)$626,648-4%1,105--$567$1,318,9681Lionsgate
13X-Men: Days of Future Past$410,27240%1,040-1641$394$225,220,0026Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jul. 3 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Chef$306,45148%686-275$447$20,361,7528Open Road
2Begin Again$214,94532%175--$1,228$538,2491Weinstein Company
3Snowpiercer$165,32547%250--$661$501,5191RADiUS-TWC
4Godzilla (2014)$105,09752%352-1013$299$197,483,6147Warner Bros.
5The Amazing Spider-Man 2$101,24933%289-145$350$200,477,6129Sony / Columbia
6Neighbors (2014)$90,99030%298-735$305$147,621,6308Universal
7Rio 2$90,7513%299-11$304$128,503,12812Fox
8Blended$60,12143%305-537$197$43,846,0156Warner Bros.
9A Million Ways to Die in the West$59,36041%201-1216$295$41,983,1705Universal
10Heaven is for Real$47,59718%186-15$256$90,349,86111Sony / TriStar
11Belle$42,52333%134-110$317$9,809,7199Fox Searchlight
12Divergent$40,39820%210-79$192$150,687,12115Lionsgate / Summit
13The Grand Seduction$31,01619%119-5$261$2,305,6605eOne Films US
14The LEGO Movie$30,158-2%240-75$126$257,122,20321Warner Bros.
15The Other Woman (2014)$28,17030%168-63$168$83,506,60710Fox
16Mr. Peabody & Sherman$18,3495%136-43$135$111,089,59117Fox / DreamWorks Animation
17Words and Pictures$16,46731%105-70$157$1,795,1116Roadside Attractions
18The Signal (2014)$1,50830%180-24$8$581,4653Focus

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jul. 3 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$55,76414%0-41--$3,742,80013Warner Bros. / IMAX
2The Grand Budapest Hotel$21,04539%80-32$263$58,622,60417Fox Searchlight
3Brick Mansions$14,89184%31-29$480$20,396,82910Relativity Media
4God's Not Dead$12,59138%90-22$140$60,648,17515Freestyle / Pure Flix
5The Immigrant$11,87234%61-49$195$2,025,3287Weinstein Company
6Moms' Night Out$11,19139%9646$117$10,327,0688Sony / TriStar
7Fed Up$6,4241%18-29$357$1,481,3078RADiUS-TWC
8Yves Saint Laurent$6,10221%20$3,051$54,5611Weinstein Company
9The Railway Man$2,89024%38-46$76$4,418,31912Weinstein Company
10Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon$2,62064%12-34$218$186,2564RADiUS-TWC
11Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return$1,22433%9-43$136$8,439,8068Clarius Entertainment
12Radio Free Albemuth$872-19%10--$87$9,3651Freestyle Releasing
13Godzilla: The Japanese Original$200-37%1--$200$143,75711Rialto Pictures
14The Hornet's Nest$8822%1-2$88$307,3328Freestyle Releasing
15The Unknown Known$6632%1-1$66$276,49713RADiUS-TWC