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, Apr. 18 - Sun, Apr. 20

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Captain America: The Winter Soldier$26,612,000-36%3,825-113$6,957$201,526,4543Disney
2Rio 2$22,500,000-43%3,97527$5,660$75,385,3802Fox
3Heaven is for Real$21,500,000--2,417--$8,895$28,534,1931Sony / TriStar
4Transcendence$11,150,000--3,455--$3,227$11,150,0001Warner Bros.
5A Haunted House 2$9,100,000--2,310--$3,939$9,100,0001Open Road
6Draft Day$5,900,000-40%2,7810$2,122$19,547,7872Lionsgate / Summit
7Divergent$5,750,000-22%2,486-624$2,313$133,914,8675Lionsgate / Summit
8Oculus$5,202,000-57%2,6480$1,965$21,191,3912Relativity Media
9Noah$5,000,000-34%2,537-745$1,971$93,273,8264Paramount
10God's Not Dead$4,801,218-13%1,796-64$2,673$48,326,5315Freestyle / Pure Flix
11Bears$4,774,000--1,720--$2,776$4,774,0001Disneynature
12The Grand Budapest Hotel$3,425,000-16%1,280-187$2,676$44,974,4017Fox Searchlight

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Muppets Most Wanted$1,068,000-53%929-1332$1,150$48,318,5535Disney
2Mr. Peabody & Sherman$800,000-57%780-1221$1,026$107,176,5817Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3Under the Skin (2014)$467,37366%176122$2,656$1,086,2413A24
4The LEGO Movie$434,000-14%340-270$1,276$252,293,59011Warner Bros.
5The Raid 2$410,880-57%539-415$762$2,266,4694Sony Pictures Classics
6The Lunchbox$396,96240%15829$2,512$2,267,9088Sony Pictures Classics
7Non-Stop (2014)$376,000-50%360-402$1,044$90,143,8608Universal
8Need For Speed$286,000-58%258-355$1,109$42,640,8836Disney / DreamWorks
9Le Week-End$277,00011%1494$1,859$1,597,7216Music Box Films
10Son of God$276,000-7%503-402$549$59,442,3378Fox
11Frozen (2013)$254,000-34%290-54$876$399,873,07322Disney
12300: Rise of an Empire$235,000-47%265-260$887$105,484,5777Warner Bros.
13Bad Words$175,000-71%223-540$785$7,573,3186Focus
14Dom Hemingway$142,000103%12987$1,101$297,3393Fox Searchlight
15The Nut Job$116,165-38%201-60$578$64,021,14114Open Road
16Sabotage (2014)$81,182-78%130-621$624$10,353,4434Open Road
17Make Your Move$81,000--142--$570$81,0001High Top Releasing
18Cesar Chavez$80,000-72%117-188$684$5,388,0474Lionsgate / Pantelion
193 Days to Kill$66,00067%11027$600$30,538,4769Relativity Media
20Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club$47,000-44%114-21$412$15,926,7276Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$202,00044%370$5,459$834,0013Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Fading Gigolo$198,399--5--$39,680$198,3991Millennium Entertainment
3The Railway Man$176,092185%2622$6,773$264,2422Weinstein Company
4Finding Vivian Maier$148,00049%3818$3,895$506,3954IFC Films
5Only Lovers Left Alive$134,58853%1713$7,917$264,7602Sony Pictures Classics
6Joe (2014)$77,140-27%480$1,607$229,6342Roadside Attractions
7That Demon Within$65,000--16--$4,063$65,0001China Lion Film
8Jodorowsky's Dune$44,0134%318$1,420$311,9615Sony Pictures Classics
9The Unknown Known$33,589-47%49-31$685$225,5613RADiUS-TWC
10The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden$25,08435%84$3,136$62,4253Zeitgeist Films
11Frankie & Alice$23,000-82%43-128$535$667,2813Lionsgate / CodeBlack Films
12Dancing in Jaffa$18,00070%97$2,000$36,7362IFC Films
13Watermark$17,399110%85$2,175$41,4573eOne Films US
14Enemy$16,432-45%15-24$1,095$982,5176A24
15Godzilla: The Japanese Original$12,500--1--$12,500$12,5001Rialto Pictures
16Rob the Mob$11,983-60%13-17$922$174,9275Millennium Entertainment
1713 Sins$9,261--45--$206$9,2611RADiUS-TWC
18Hateship Loveship$9,00050%32$3,000$17,3292IFC Films
19Dallas Buyers Club$8,000-54%14-19$571$27,288,48225Focus
2020 Feet from Stardom$150-69%1-1$150$4,941,72745RADiUS-TWC