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, Oct. 5 - Sun, Oct. 7

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Taken 2$50,000,000--3,661--$13,657$50,000,0001Fox
2Hotel Transylvania$26,300,000-38%3,3523$7,846$75,958,5322Sony / Columbia
3Pitch Perfect$14,736,000186%2,7702435$5,320$21,582,2082Universal
4Looper$12,200,000-41%2,9931$4,076$40,300,6512Sony / TriStar
5Frankenweenie$11,500,000--3,005--$3,827$11,500,0001Disney
6End of Watch$4,000,000-49%2,370-410$1,688$32,845,9463Open Road
7Trouble with the Curve$3,870,000-47%3,003-209$1,289$29,709,8233Warner Bros.
8House at the End of the Street$3,698,000-48%2,720-363$1,360$27,531,1443Relativity Media
9Finding Nemo 3D$1,555,000-61%1,746-893$891$38,969,4614Disney
10Resident Evil: Retribution$1,150,000-61%1,361-1020$845$41,000,7304Sony / Screen Gems
11Won't Back Down$1,015,000-61%2,5172$403$4,482,5132Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Master$1,840,000-31%8648$2,130$12,315,3294Weinstein Company
2The Perks of Being A Wallflower$1,525,00038%221119$6,900$3,307,3393Lionsgate / Summit
3The Possession$635,000-53%821-797$773$48,402,8836Lionsgate
4Arbitrage$626,465-28%245-10$2,557$6,038,7214Roadside Attractions
5Dredd 3D$625,000-74%831-1726$752$12,675,4143Lionsgate
6Lawless$327,000-62%611-892$535$37,001,7996Weinstein Company
7The Bourne Legacy$325,000-58%482-342$674$112,255,6759Universal
8Ice Age: Continental Drift$320,000-17%298-89$1,074$159,493,03013Fox
9The Odd Life of Timothy Green$264,000-59%534-653$494$50,193,1398Disney
10ParaNorman$256,340-67%342-867$750$54,374,9558Focus
11The Oranges$180,000--110--$1,636$180,0001IDP/ATO Pictures
122016: Obama's America$159,103-61%249-326$639$33,335,54913Rocky Mountain Pictures
13The Expendables 2$151,000-71%313-502$482$84,353,7348Lionsgate
14Ted (2012)$134,000-24%187-38$717$218,331,30015Universal
15Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$100,000-33%155-48$645$216,232,29218Paramount / DreamWorks

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Samsara$116,443-22%52-7$2,239$1,593,8847Oscilloscope
2The Paperboy$110,033--11--$10,003$110,0331Millennium Entertainment
3The Intouchables$103,000-24%84-37$1,226$12,636,09320Weinstein Company
4Searching For Sugar Man$89,104-7%381$2,345$1,437,77511Sony Pictures Classics
5Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$84,600-7%184$4,700$330,2313IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
6Robot & Frank$66,960-33%72-44$930$3,170,0448IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
7V/H/S$40,000--15--$2,667$40,0001Magnolia / Magnet
8Last Ounce of Courage$35,781-77%93-204$385$3,307,1594Rocky Mountain Pictures
9Detropia$30,80013%110$2,800$219,9135Loki Films
10Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare$25,956--12--$2,163$25,9561Roadside Attractions
11The House I Live In$19,654--2--$9,827$19,6541Abramorama
12My Uncle Rafael$15,574-65%3-2$5,191$206,3463Rocky Mountain Pictures
13For A Good Time, Call...$13,145-75%43-41$306$1,243,8336Focus
14The Other Dream Team$12,746-36%75$1,821$36,9762The Film Arcade
15Vulgaria$11,000-65%9-7$1,222$53,9772China Lion Film
16Wuthering Heights (2012)$8,785--1--$8,785$8,7851Oscilloscope
17Wake in Fright (2012 re-issue)$6,749--1--$6,749$6,7491Drafthouse Films
1810 Years$5,001-87%21-42$238$200,9094Anchor Bay Films
19Bel Borba Aqui$2,135--1--$2,135$2,7701Abramorama
20Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$1,400-18%6-1$233$3,376,7759ARC Entertainment