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Weekend Predictions: Will The Equalizer Equal Success?

September 25th, 2014

The Equalizer poster

The Equalizer and The Boxtrolls opens wide this week. They are an action film and a family flick and the last weekend of September has been kind to both genres. The Equalizer could become the fastest opening film of the month, which might be enough to get it all the way to $100 million during its entire run. The Boxtrolls, on the other hand, is a Stop-motion animated film, which rarely rises above the midlevel hit. This weekend last year, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 opened with $34.02 million, which is right in the middle of the expected range for The Equalizer, plus the depth is better this year, so 2014 should win the year-over-year competition.

The Equalizer is an adaptation of the 1980s TV show of the same name. In this version, Denzel Washington stars as the former special ops, who befriends Chloë Grace Moretz, a teenage prostitute. When she is beaten up by her pimp, he gets revenge; however, it turns out they are associated with the Russian mob, who send enforcers to get Denzel. The reviews are hovering around the overall positive level, which is good for this time of year. Additionally, Denzel Washington is really reliable at the box office. On the high end, this movie could earn nearly $40 million. If it opens below $30 million, I will be a little surprised. I'm going with $34 million, which should easily give it first place.

The biggest Stop-motion animated film of all time was Chicken Run, which is more than a decade old. Since then, only one such film, Coraline, has earned significantly more than $50 million at the box office. It doesn't seem like The Boxtrolls will perform better than the historical norms. Its reviews are good, but not great, while the buzz is about the same. Not everyone thinks it will open in second place, but it could get lucky and earn $20 million, more or less. Or it could struggle to open in the teens. I think $17 million is the most likely result.

The Maze Runner will likely see a 50% drop-off during its sophomore stint. The reviews are better than expected and there's no real direct competition. (The Equalizer is aiming at an older demographic and The Boxtrolls is aiming younger.) However, a 50% drop-off is just the norm. That would still leave it with $16 million over the weekend putting it on pace to reach between $80 million and $90 million in the end.

A Walk Among the Tombstones and This is Where I Leave You will round out the top five with $6 million, more or less. Neither film has really caught on and both movies will fade from theaters quickly once October starts.


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Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Equalizer, The Boxtrolls, The Maze Runner, A Walk Among the Tombstones, This is Where I Leave You, Denzel Washington, Chloë Grace Moretz