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, Aug. 21 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Aug. 21 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Guardians of the Galaxy$2,573,025-2%3,697-391$696$234,253,8573Disney
2Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)$2,322,198-4%3,980135$583$128,809,8062Paramount
3Let's Be Cops$1,651,523-6%3,094158$534$34,246,1681Fox
4The Giver$1,061,127-5%3,003--$353$17,370,5381Weinstein Company
5The Expendables 3$1,010,019-7%3,221--$314$20,918,1771Lionsgate
6The Hundred-Foot Journey$834,861-2%2,04320$409$27,188,2042Disney / DreamWorks
7Into the Storm$608,383-11%3,4340$177$34,501,3842Warner Bros. / New Line
8Lucy$516,295-17%2,520-532$205$110,235,2704Universal
9Step Up All In$210,951-19%2,0720$102$12,964,0482Lionsgate / Summit
10Hercules (2014)$194,466-8%1,475-1421$132$69,086,2964Paramount
11Dawn of The Planet of The Apes$192,419-15%1,262-589$152$202,860,9706Fox
12Get On Up$149,050-12%1,101-1179$135$27,764,9903Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Aug. 21 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Boyhood$264,9159%771265$344$14,662,0486IFC Films
2Planes: Fire and Rescue$163,99512%960-892$171$56,346,6295Disney
3A Most Wanted Man$131,437-4%644-157$204$13,189,9894Roadside Attractions
4What If$106,853-13%787767$136$1,552,4542CBS Films
5How to Train Your Dragon 2$90,3134%377-149$240$171,606,96210Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6The Purge: Anarchy$48,875-29%575-630$85$70,405,7155Universal
7Calvary$47,402-2%13086$365$1,087,5133Fox Searchlight
8And So It Goes$45,812-3%362-749$127$14,514,6014Clarius Entertainment
9Sex Tape$34,025-24%317-416$107$37,941,8945Sony / Columbia
10Edge of Tomorrow$33,1632%261-4$127$99,830,58211Warner Bros.
1122 Jump Street$31,834-14%172-106$185$190,091,24410Sony / Columbia
12X-Men: Days of Future Past$28,153-6%223-4$126$232,603,58113Fox
13The Fault in Our Stars$25,081-7%206-17$122$124,295,18911Fox
14Transformers: Age of Extinction$23,016-4%206-374$112$243,439,6038Paramount
15Chef$22,02020%122-120$180$29,375,80315Open Road
16Tammy$17,598-15%276-274$64$83,222,3407Warner Bros. / New Line
17Earth to Echo$12,880-23%154-63$84$37,728,0417Relativity Media
18Rio 2$10,30613%128-38$81$131,454,25819Fox
19Godzilla (2014)$9,587-1%118-60$81$200,626,32714Warner Bros.
20Jersey Boys$9,19515%115-35$80$46,658,4219Warner Bros.
21Blended$8,5488%111-33$77$46,244,44313Warner Bros.
22Neighbors (2014)$7,4700%106-33$70$150,086,80015Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Aug. 21 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$36,586-1%410$892$6,265,28120Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Yves Saint Laurent$13,35812%1812$742$445,8658Weinstein Company
3Snowpiercer$7,9029%42-29$188$4,403,5928RADiUS-TWC
4Begin Again$7,2450%62-183$117$14,486,1328Weinstein Company
5The Grand Seduction$5,295-33%25-8$212$3,350,65212eOne Films US
6The Fluffy Movie$5,1628%51-105$101$2,806,2264Open Road
7America (2014)$3,62118%62-59$58$14,390,0428Lionsgate
8Wish I Was Here$2,85110%54-148$53$3,549,3385Focus
9Kick$1,489-42%16-58$93$2,472,6954UTV Motion Pictures
10Words and Pictures$1,48215%153$99$2,171,25713Roadside Attractions
11The LEGO Movie$1,138-17%15-2$76$257,749,27028Warner Bros.
12I Origins$64580%13-75$50$336,4725Fox Searchlight
13Jake Squared$226-21%10--$23$2,5921Freestyle Releasing
14Fed Up$2070%53$41$1,538,61215RADiUS-TWC
15Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon$8-73%2-1$4$213,93211RADiUS-TWC