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.

Weekly domestic gross

WeekTop 10 GrossChg. LW%Total GrossChg. LW% Top movie of the week
26 (Jun 27 - Jul 03)$260,558,19728%$289,543,00057%Transformers: Age of Extinction
24 (Jun 13 - Jun 19)$259,565,76818%$274,616,00017%22 Jump Street
21 (May 23 - May 29)$256,416,76318%$275,558,00019%X-Men: Days of Future Past
32 (Aug 08 - Aug 14)$246,226,8392%$275,335,0001%Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
31 (Aug 01 - Aug 07)$240,966,02025%$271,543,00019%Guardians of the Galaxy
23 (Jun 06 - Jun 12)$220,504,2242%$235,237,0002%The Fault in Our Stars
22 (May 30 - Jun 05)$216,842,737-15%$230,093,000-16%Maleficent
20 (May 16 - May 22)$216,442,29134%$232,164,00030%Godzilla (2014)
07 (Feb 14 - Feb 20)$208,274,58529%$241,277,00025%The LEGO Movie
25 (Jun 20 - Jun 26)$203,528,148-22%$184,862,000-33%22 Jump Street
03 (Jan 17 - Jan 23)$203,205,96535%$246,792,00031%Ride Along
28 (Jul 11 - Jul 17)$200,657,60514%$226,676,00011%Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
14 (Apr 04 - Apr 10)$196,678,72423%$212,524,00017%Captain America: The Winter Soldier
30 (Jul 25 - Jul 31)$192,387,4451%$227,996,0004%Lucy
29 (Jul 18 - Jul 24)$191,126,930-5%$220,049,000-3%Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
15 (Apr 11 - Apr 17)$186,574,452-5%$203,310,000-4%Captain America: The Winter Soldier
33 (Aug 15 - Aug 21)$176,836,799-28%$203,297,000-26%Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
27 (Jul 04 - Jul 10)$176,616,643-32%$204,661,000-29%Transformers: Age of Extinction
18 (May 02 - May 08)$175,759,58740%$192,965,00028%The Amazing Spider-Man 2
10 (Mar 07 - Mar 13)$170,490,79928%$193,723,00021%300: Rise of an Empire
12 (Mar 21 - Mar 27)$170,465,44533%$188,052,00026%Divergent
06 (Feb 07 - Feb 13)$161,597,23089%$192,940,00069%The LEGO Movie
19 (May 09 - May 15)$160,996,916-8%$178,909,000-7%Neighbors (2014)
13 (Mar 28 - Apr 03)$159,801,347-6%$181,733,000-3%Noah
01 (Jan 03 - Jan 09)$159,343,109--$190,069,000--Frozen (2013)
16 (Apr 18 - Apr 24)$156,755,754-16%$181,228,000-11%Captain America: The Winter Soldier
02 (Jan 10 - Jan 16)$150,397,106-6%$188,786,000-1%Lone Survivor
09 (Feb 28 - Mar 06)$132,712,05313%$159,661,00012%Non-Stop (2014)
34 (Aug 22 - Aug 28)$130,765,914-26%$157,407,000-23%Guardians of the Galaxy
11 (Mar 14 - Mar 20)$127,965,571-25%$149,568,000-23%Mr. Peabody & Sherman
17 (Apr 25 - May 01)$125,165,476-20%$150,807,000-17%The Other Woman (2014)
35 (Aug 29 - Sep 04)$122,883,981-6%$163,265,0004%Guardians of the Galaxy
04 (Jan 24 - Jan 30)$120,508,099-41%$154,687,000-37%Ride Along
08 (Feb 21 - Feb 27)$117,537,472-44%$142,091,000-41%The LEGO Movie
38 (Sep 19 - Sep 25)$114,768,66225%$132,059,00014%The Maze Runner
39 (Sep 26 - Oct 02)$95,966,631-16%$107,186,000-19%The Equalizer
37 (Sep 12 - Sep 18)$91,833,86445%$115,981,00033%No Good Deed (2014)
05 (Jan 31 - Feb 06)$85,426,599-29%$114,101,000-26%Ride Along
36 (Sep 05 - Sep 11)$63,265,254-49%$87,343,000-47%Guardians of the Galaxy