Here’s an interesting little box-office nugget from Gitesh Pandya: over the past decade, every single one of Denzel Washington’s 12 starring vehicles has opened north of $20 million and within the box-office top 3. None were sequels. Translation? Washington is Mr. dependable at the box-office. Despite backhanded reviews—terrible, but enjoyable—Sony’s “The Equalizer” took the number one spot this weekend by a considerable margin, making for the third highest opening for Washington after “American Gangster” and “Safe House.”
This wasn’t much of a surprise. The Antoine Fuqua-directed actioner definitely seemed like a crowd-pleaser, delivering exactly what it promised, action and violence, to its intended young male audience. The movie earned a very good A- Cinemascore, and the picture took in a solid $35 million in its debut weekend. It hasn’t made its budget back, but for September this is a strong number and those grosses are only going to climb. A sequel is already in development and will presumably be green lit in a few months.
Falling only 46% in its second week, “The Maze Runner” stayed on course, falling to number two, but holding on with a very respectable $17.5 million. The movie has now grossed $58 million domestically and $121 million globally. This one is already a success. Animation studio LAIKA had the best debut ever for the company with their $17 million opening for “The Box Trolls.” Not insanely high numbers, but great for stop-motion animation—it’s the third highest stop-motion opening ever.
The rest of the box-office landed as expected. “Guardians Of The Galaxy” spent its ninth week in the top 10 and hit some more milestones. The movie surpassed the domestic gross of “Iron Man” and the worldwide gross of “Thor: The Dark World.” At $319 million stateside and $644 million worldwide, the movie is now the third-highest grossing Marvel film of all time at home, and the only two pictures ahead of it are “Iron Man 3” and “The Avengers.” The film won’t best either domestically, but worldwide it has become the 4th highest grossing Marvel film (and maybe can outgross ‘Captain America 2‘).
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is about to end its run in the top 10, but the movie has grossed $187 million domestic/$342 million worldwide, and Paramount has to be super pleased. A sequel will hit in 2016. Despite middling reviews, WB’s comedy “This Is Where I Leave You” has had a strong box-office hold. It’s not doing insane numbers, but the movie only fell a very low 39% this weekend. Made for a relatively low $19.8 million, it could end up profitable once it hits DVD. And Fox’s “Let’s Be Cops” has made almost $80 million in the U.S. Who woulda bet on that one?
Box-office failures? “Walk Among The Tombstones” is basically dead in the water, falling almost 67% and may fall out of the top 10 by next weekend. It has a low $20.8 million domestic take so far. Kevin Smith didn’t fare much better in his second week release of “Tusk.” Plummeting 67%, A24 actually reduced the theater count of the movie and it’ll go down in the record books as one of Smith’s worst box-office showing ever.
In limited release, CBS Films won the specialty box-office field with “Pride.” The U.K. gay-rights crowdpleaser grossed $84,791, averaging a good $14,132 per screen. “The Song” and “Mas Negro Que La Noche” had ok openings, but were far from spectacular considering their theater count.
1. The Equalizer — $35,000,000
2. The Maze Runner— $17,500,000 ($58,018,000)
3. The Boxtrolls — $17,250,000
4. This is Where I Leave You— $7,010,000 ($22,557,000)
5. Dolphin Tale 2 — $4,835,000 ($33,665,000)
6. No Good Deed — $4,600,000 ($46,623,000)
7. A Walk Among the Tombstones — $4,234,000 ($20,871,000)
8. Guardians of the Galaxy — $3,789,000 ($319,192,000)
9. Let’s Be Cops — $1,515,000 ($79,628,000)
10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles —$1,450,000 ($187,182,000)