September 28, 2014

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 9/28/14


OPENINGS:  THE EQUALIZER (Columbia/Sony) was a bit softer on Saturday than Denzel Washington’s other hits at this box office level, up 8% compared to 11% for American Gangster and 19% for Safe House.  (Possibly because Equalizer is a terrible movie.)  That resulted in a $35M weekend that was slightly lower than Friday’s start had implied, although still Washington’s #3 opening ever, behind those two.  Although Washington is a platinum star in the US, his appeal doesn’t travel all that well (Safe House did 61% of its worldwide business in the US and 2 Guns was at 57%, the reverse of the usual action movie pattern, although American Gangster, with its epic feel and the addition of Russell Crowe, did better), and that appears to be the case as well with Equalizer, which opened in 65 markets covering most of the world and brought in $17.8M.

THE BOXTROLLS (Laika/Focus/Universal) had its expected 51% Saturday matinee bump and a $17.25M weekend, solidly better than Paranorman‘s $14.1M and even slightly above Coraline‘s $16.8M.  It could be in line for a $75M US total, unless the arrival of Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible… in less than 2 weeks cuts its run short.  Boxtrolls, in only 16 territories so far, earned $5.1M this weekend and to date has $17.7M overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  THE MAZE RUNNER (20th) fell 46% from opening weekend to $17.5M, an excellent hold for a YA property.  It’s at $58M, and could knock at the door of $100M if it can keep up this pace.  It’s also doing very well overseas, with $27.5M this weekend from 62 territories, not yet including China, the UK and several other major Western European countries, and an international total of $91M.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU (Warners) slipped just 39% from last weekend to $7M, but A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES (Universal) crashed by 67% to $4.2M.  Leave You should get to a mild $35-40M, while Tombstones may have trouble even reaching $30M.  A DOLPHIN TALE 2 (Alcon/Warners) fell 46% to $4.8M, with a $33.6M total, and NO GOOD DEED (Screen Gems/Sony) dropped 53% to $4.6M, with a $46.6M total.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Marvel/Disney) lost just 28% to $3.8M, and also earned $4M overseas (with China still to come).  It’ continues to run close to 50/50 between the US and international, with $319.2M here and $644.3M worldwide.

THE DROP (Fox Searchlight) is virtually off the board, down 49% to $1.1M at 1131 theatres, an average under $1000.

LIMITED RELEASE:  PRIDE (CBS) had a merely fair start with a $14K average at 6 theatres in NY/LA.  THE SKELETON TWINS (Roadside) seems to have some traction with a robust expansion to 385 theatres and a $3300 average.  MY OLD LADY (Cohen Media) widened to 255 with a $2200 average. LOVE IS STRANGE (Sony Classics) went to 138 theatres with a $1400 average.  HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS (Relativity) spread to 94 theatres with a $2100 average.  TRACKS (Weinstein) had a decent $2600 average, but that was at just 28 theatres.  THE TRIP TO ITALY (IFC) held at 200 theatres and declined just 18% from last weekend, with a $1200 average.  THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY (Weinstein) sadly lived up to its title, with an average under $700 at 139 theatres.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."