Denzel Propels Equalizer to Top of Weekend Box Office
By John Hamann
September 28, 2014
Second spot this weekend goes to last weekend’s number one film, The Maze Runner. Following a strong $32.5 million debut, the YA novel adaptation was looking to hold in the 50% range this weekend – not to find a profit, but to further cement the likelihood of a sequel. It earned $5.2 million on Friday night, off 54% from its opening frame, but that included Thursday previews from the first frame. Over the weekend proper, The Maze Runner was able to come back somewhat, and earned a decent $17.5 million in weekend two. That gives it a drop of 46%, providing further evidence that The Maze Runner could be a franchise. Made for only $34 million, this Fox product is well on its way to profitability, as it has a gross so far of $58 million. It doesn’t look like it will earn $100 million domestically, but it is doing some stunning business overseas already, as it already has $90 million from overseas venues. It should easily do $200 million worldwide before all is said and done.
Finishing third this weekend is our other opener, the Laika-produced, Focus-distributed The Boxtrolls. I always look forward to Laika releases, as they are so few, and I find the animation and storytelling quite amazing. Really, these films are made more for the young-at-heart than the young. Both Coraline and ParaNorman were on the dark side of the kid-viewing realm. Because they don’t skew young, their films don’t break out, and the same happened for The Boxtrolls this weekend. After a $4.9 million Friday (it didn’t have Thursday previews), The Boxtrolls managed a weekend take of $17.3 million, meaning that it became the small animation studio's best opener so far (Coraline earned $16.8 million when it opened in February of 2009). Coraline finished with an opening to total multiplier of 4.5, earning a domestic total of $75.3 million. The Boxtrolls is going to need a similar multiplier, as the reported cost to make this one was $60 million.
The Boxtrolls is currently 71% fresh, down somewhat from Coraline’s 90% fresh rating and ParaNorman’s 87%, but critics were still enamored with this Laika outing. Eighty-nine critics found something to like, but there were 36 dissenters at the time of this writing, higher than usual for this kind of film. The Cinemascore came in at B+, a good sign for the animated feature, as ParaNorman earned the same score, and managed a 4.0 multiplier. Overseas numbers should be decent. Coraline earned $49.3 million in international venues, while ParaNorman took in $51.1 million. I would expect similar with The Boxtrolls – it has already earned $18 million overseas so far.
Fourth spot goes to This Is Where I Leave You, another of last weekend’s new releases. After taking in $11.6 million over its opening frame, this star-studded dramedy held decently but didn’t overwhelm. This Is Where I Leave You earned $7 million in its second frame, down an okay 39% compared to last weekend. The Warner Bros. flick cost just short of $20 million to make and has a current take of $22.6 million after 10 days of release.