Sunday, September 28, 2014

'The Equalizer' opens big with $35 million, 'The Boxtrolls' starts strong at weekend box office

After an impressive showing by Fox's The Maze Runner last weekend, the Denzel Washington-starred action flick The Equalizer became the second surprise hit of the fall with a strong $35 million opening. The hard-R film had seen a pretty solid marketing push over the last few weeks and audiences responded well. The film also received an "A-" Cinemascore, which indicates that fans were very pleased with what they saw. All in all, this is the fourth highest September opening of all time and the third highest opening of Denzel Washington's career. Not bad considering the film cost a mere $55 million. Sony did a great job with this film and a sequel is undoubtedly in the pipeline.

The Maze Runner held on to second place and grossed $17.5 million. That's only a 46% drop from last weekend, which is very good considering that films like these are typically very front-loaded. Somehow, The Maze Runner has managed to keep it going and it has now taken in $58 million. This film might push its way to $100 million, but it will be close. Still a very good showing for Fox and a new franchise will definitely pop up because of this film.

Focus Features' new animated film The Boxtrolls finished in third place with $17.2 million. The film from stop-motion animation studio Laika opened higher than the studio's previous two films (ParaNorman and Coraline) and received a "B+" Cinemascore. Pretty solid debut, and with little to no competition for the next few weeks, The Boxtrolls will probably finish with $50-$60 million.

Warner Bros.' This is Where I Leave You held pretty well this weekend and ended up in fourth place with $7 million. The family comedy has now grossed $22.5 million, which isn't bad considering it cost only $19.8 million. Probably not the big hit that Warner expected, but that's okay. Right behind it in fifth place was Dolphin Tale 2, which took in $4.8 million to raise its total to $33.6 million. Dolphin Tale 2 ended up becoming somewhat of a flop, which is somewhat surprising. Warner Bros. might actually end up losing money on this one considering it cost $36 million.

No Good Deed finished in sixth place with $4.6 million, a solid total for the small crime thriller. No Good Deed has now grossed $46.6 million, which is very impressive considering the fact that the film only cost $13.2 million. In the end, this is a massive success for Sony and Screen Gems. Universal definitely hasn't had the same success with A Walk Among the Tombstones. The dark crime thriller fell nearly 67% this weekend and grossed a paltry $4.2 million. The grisly drama has now made $20.8 million and will likely lose money in the end. A big disappointment for Liam Neeson.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy ended up in eighth place and grabbed another $3.7 million. The #1 movie of 2014 has now made $319.1 million and passed the original Iron Man at the domestic box office. Quite amazing. Let's Be Cops held onto ninth place and snagged $1.5 million this weekend. The R-rated comedy has now grossed $79.6 million on a $17 million budget. And finally, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rounded out the top ten with $1.4 million. The action blockbuster has now made $187.1 million.

In the limited release world, Roadside Attractions' The Skeleton Twins grossed $1.2 million in just 385 theaters. The critically acclaimed comedy has now taken in $2.3 million and will likely expand in the near future. The Drop also took in $1 million this weekend, which was enough to raise its total to $9.6 million. It's a solid little film, but nothing special. Review coming soon for that one.

Next weekend sees the release of two major Fall blockbusters: Gone Girl and Annabelle. Left Behind is also debuting next weekend. Here are my predictions:

1. Annabelle- $37 million
2. Gone Girl- $33 million
3. The Equalizer- $17.6 million
4. The Maze Runner- $9.2 million
5. The Boxtrolls- $8.7 million
6. This is Where I Leave You- $4.5 million
7. Left Behind- $4 million
8. Dolphin Tale 2- $2.5 million
9. No Good Deed- $2.4 million
10. Guardians of the Galaxy- $2.3 million

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