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.

Weekend domestic gross

WeekendTop 10 GrossChg. LW%Total GrossChg. LW% Top movie of the week
36 (Sep 05 - Sep 07)$48,083,368-42%$65,655,252-40%Guardians of the Galaxy
05 (Jan 31 - Feb 02)$65,887,288-30%$86,072,092-27%Ride Along
37 (Sep 12 - Sep 14)$73,297,49352%$91,079,82439%No Good Deed (2014)
38 (Sep 19 - Sep 21)$90,003,66723%$102,550,21913%The Maze Runner
39 (Sep 26 - Sep 28)$95,966,6317%$107,174,0765%The Equalizer
35 (Aug 29 - Aug 31)$82,775,516-15%$109,332,503-5%Guardians of the Galaxy
08 (Feb 21 - Feb 23)$94,308,705-39%$111,652,840-37%The LEGO Movie
11 (Mar 14 - Mar 16)$98,624,322-23%$113,857,743-21%Mr. Peabody & Sherman
34 (Aug 22 - Aug 24)$97,178,514-22%$114,841,162-20%Guardians of the Galaxy
17 (Apr 25 - Apr 27)$97,473,803-16%$116,764,238-12%The Other Woman (2014)
04 (Jan 24 - Jan 26)$93,470,922-36%$118,117,092-33%Ride Along
09 (Feb 28 - Mar 02)$104,089,48010%$123,511,32011%Non-Stop (2014)
27 (Jul 04 - Jul 06)$115,345,546-33%$132,400,546-26%Transformers: Age of Extinction
16 (Apr 18 - Apr 20)$116,260,430-11%$133,362,817-5%Captain America: The Winter Soldier
19 (May 09 - May 11)$123,849,070-12%$136,682,787-11%Neighbors (2014)
15 (Apr 11 - Apr 13)$131,084,472-16%$140,004,458-16%Captain America: The Winter Soldier
02 (Jan 10 - Jan 12)$112,448,084-5%$140,546,7740%Lone Survivor
13 (Mar 28 - Mar 30)$124,746,109-4%$140,571,703-1%Noah
01 (Jan 03 - Jan 05)$118,936,215--$141,175,697--Frozen (2013)
12 (Mar 21 - Mar 23)$129,583,26131%$141,358,71724%Divergent
33 (Aug 15 - Aug 17)$124,986,010-26%$142,778,857-23%Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
10 (Mar 07 - Mar 09)$127,539,95523%$143,771,58816%300: Rise of an Empire
25 (Jun 20 - Jun 22)$135,785,499-23%$145,793,829-22%Think Like a Man Too
29 (Jul 18 - Jul 20)$130,550,571-2%$149,168,728-1%Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
28 (Jul 11 - Jul 13)$133,801,34416%$150,142,27813%Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
06 (Feb 07 - Feb 09)$132,710,403101%$152,816,95778%The LEGO Movie
18 (May 02 - May 04)$141,515,37545%$153,996,10832%The Amazing Spider-Man 2
30 (Jul 25 - Jul 27)$132,017,6591%$154,705,0344%Lucy
23 (Jun 06 - Jun 08)$153,810,858-2%$162,885,920-2%The Fault in Our Stars
22 (May 30 - Jun 01)$157,680,341-10%$166,449,158-11%Maleficent
14 (Apr 04 - Apr 06)$155,800,77425%$167,154,07919%Captain America: The Winter Soldier
03 (Jan 17 - Jan 19)$146,864,92431%$176,250,39825%Ride Along
07 (Feb 14 - Feb 16)$155,759,46817%$178,151,93917%The LEGO Movie
20 (May 16 - May 18)$167,395,91435%$178,372,83331%Godzilla (2014)
26 (Jun 27 - Jun 29)$171,037,68226%$180,004,11323%Transformers: Age of Extinction
32 (Aug 08 - Aug 10)$169,712,5051%$186,189,3020%Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
31 (Aug 01 - Aug 03)$167,783,61527%$186,309,03620%Guardians of the Galaxy
24 (Jun 13 - Jun 15)$177,277,72215%$186,942,08015%22 Jump Street
21 (May 23 - May 25)$175,346,8225%$187,232,5075%X-Men: Days of Future Past