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, Jan. 24 - Sun, Jan. 26

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ride Along$21,200,000-49%2,75996$7,684$75,445,3102Universal
2Lone Survivor$12,600,000-43%3,162173$3,985$93,613,9615Universal
3The Nut Job$12,316,000-37%3,47245$3,547$40,271,2452Open Road
4Frozen (2013)$9,035,000-23%2,757-222$3,277$347,815,20510Disney
5Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$8,800,000-43%3,3870$2,598$30,168,1332Paramount
6I, Frankenstein$8,275,000--2,753--$3,006$8,275,0001Lionsgate
7American Hustle$7,100,000-28%2,304100$3,082$127,038,7537Sony / Columbia
8August: Osage County$5,041,000-32%2,411360$2,091$26,526,5015Weinstein Company
9The Wolf of Wall Street$5,000,000-29%1,804-126$2,772$98,030,4545Paramount
10Devil's Due$2,750,000-67%2,5440$1,081$12,885,9632Fox
11Her (2013)$2,285,000-43%1,325-404$1,725$19,175,4086Warner Bros.
12The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$2,165,000-42%1,285-530$1,685$252,343,9247Warner Bros. / New Line
13Saving Mr. Banks$2,135,000-45%1,660-789$1,286$79,212,3627Disney
14Dallas Buyers Club$2,045,000117%1,110691$1,842$20,373,70713Focus
15Gravity$2,020,0008%1,260316$1,603$261,203,46917Warner Bros.
1612 Years a Slave$2,015,00031%1,231470$1,637$43,543,81715Fox Searchlight
17The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$1,550,000-37%1,051-277$1,475$420,031,96810Lionsgate
18The Legend Of Hercules$1,200,000-65%1,371-733$875$17,012,2083Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Nebraska$1,435,00062%968560$1,482$11,602,97411Paramount Vantage
2Philomena$1,031,000-18%5050$2,042$25,769,57910Weinstein Company
3Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$830,000-62%824-907$1,007$123,815,8666Paramount
4Gimme Shelter (2014)$720,950--385--$1,873$720,9501Roadside Attractions
5The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$640,000-51%540-497$1,185$56,374,7335Fox
6Inside Llewyn Davis$504,000-50%289-296$1,744$11,993,3478CBS Films
7Captain Phillips$328,000-37%302-601$1,086$106,260,01816Sony / Columbia
8Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones$290,000-79%527-1042$550$32,087,3684Paramount
9Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$280,000-4%242-14$1,157$118,882,23018Sony / Columbia
10The Invisible Woman$277,545219%153127$1,814$601,9635Sony Pictures Classics
1147 Ronin$246,000-45%239-104$1,029$38,048,5005Universal
12Last Vegas$82,000-34%159-35$516$63,747,70713CBS Films
13Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$53,000-69%132-259$402$52,330,5807Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Past$110,95714%333$3,362$533,7386Sony Pictures Classics
2The Great Beauty$108,893-21%51-3$2,135$1,455,90911Janus Films
3Gloria (2014)$58,775--3--$19,592$58,7751Roadside Attractions
4Blue Jasmine$33,016-27%368$917$33,202,45227Sony Pictures Classics
5Visitors$10,742--1--$10,742$10,7421Cinedigm
6American Mustang$4,400-44%10$4,400$13,0682Vitagraph / Just Media