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.

Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic) Fri, May. 25 - Sun, May. 27

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Men in Black 3$55,000,000--4,248--$12,947$55,000,0001Sony / Columbia
2Marvel's The Avengers$36,987,000-34%3,918-331$9,440$513,671,7884Disney
3Battleship$10,754,310-58%3,70212$2,905$44,259,6552Universal
4The Dictator$9,600,000-45%3,0146$3,185$41,448,1042Paramount
5Chernobyl Diaries$8,000,000--2,433--$3,288$8,000,0001Warner Bros.
6Dark Shadows$7,515,000-40%3,404-351$2,208$62,997,8963Warner Bros.
7What to Expect When You're Expecting$7,150,000-32%3,0210$2,367$22,171,2482Lionsgate
8The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$6,350,00097%1,233879$5,150$16,553,4964Fox Searchlight
9The Hunger Games$2,200,000-25%1,421-643$1,548$395,208,78510Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Think Like a Man$1,400,000-47%786-936$1,781$88,271,9416Sony / Screen Gems
2The Pirates! Band of Misfits$1,100,000-30%884-956$1,244$27,304,3045Sony / Columbia
3Bernie$870,15477%19499$4,485$2,221,9605Millennium Entertainment
4The Lucky One (2012)$560,000-69%615-1390$911$58,272,8336Warner Bros.
5Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$491,4007%39011$1,260$210,855,17013Universal
6The Five-Year Engagement$309,620-72%274-901$1,130$27,964,9055Universal
7The Three Stooges$265,000-39%325-269$815$42,246,3547Fox
8The Cabin in the Woods$178,000-53%203-245$877$40,936,7217Lionsgate
9Girl in Progress$120,000-74%143-179$839$2,398,2733Lionsgate / Pantelion
10American Reunion$100,650-62%165-125$610$56,692,7558Universal
11Safe (2012)$52,500-82%112-391$469$16,789,4535Lionsgate
12Bully (2012)$41,000-55%104-100$394$3,295,4739Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Moonrise Kingdom$509,000--4--$127,250$509,0001Focus
2Hysteria$145,715309%3227$4,554$201,5212Sony Pictures Classics
3Crooked Arrows$129,511-49%6712$1,933$447,9462Branded/Peck Films
4The Intouchables$101,053--4--$25,263$101,0531Weinstein Company
5Darling Companion$68,96717%611$1,131$522,8026Sony Pictures Classics
6Where Do We Go Now?$62,925166%2513$2,517$126,1923Sony Pictures Classics
7Titanic 3D$32,000-37%42-28$762$57,799,5918Paramount
8A Thousand Words$31,000-46%59-51$525$18,429,11812Paramount
9OC87$6,000--1--$6,000$6,0001Fisher Klingenstein Films