‘The Equalizer’ testifies to the power of Denzel


The latest successful bow for a Denzel Washington feature proved, once again, the actor is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. The Equalizer raked in $35 million this weekend, enjoying the fourth strongest opening ever for the month of September, behind Hotel Transylvania, Insidious Chapter 2 and Sweet Home Alabama. Washington’s faithful fans, 65 percent of whom were over the age of 30, were pleased with this latest offering from the popular, dependably entertaining action star: They awarded the film an A- CinemaScore grade. Their positive word-of-mouth should help buoy the film to a tally north of $100 million or so.

It was a close race for second place, but ultimately, The Maze Runner finished victorious. This most recent YA adaptation earned $17.5 million, bumping its 10-day total to a very nice $58 million. The film dipped 46 percent from last weekend, a hold that was nonetheless stronger than that which Divergent managed over the same period: Divergent dropped 53 percent its second weekend in theatres. Like The Equalizer, The Maze Runner should end its theatrical run with roughly $100 million to its name.

In third place, The Boxtrolls grossed $17.25 million. Although reviews for the animated kids’ film were not as positive as those for past Laika Animation offerings Coraline and ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls nonetheless opened the strongest of the three titles. (ParaNorman bowed to $14.1 million, while Coraline grossed $16.8 million over its opening weekend.) The Boxtrolls also enjoyed the strongest opening for a stop-motion animated movie since Tim Burton’s 2005 The Corpse Bride. Audiences were more or less pleased with the film, awarding it a B+ CinemaScore grade. Look for The Boxtrolls to total out to roughly $60 million.

Holdovers This Is Where I Leave You and Dolphin Tale 2 claimed the fourth and fifth-place slots, respectively. The film with a great cast but less than compelling plotline, Leave You, added an additional $7 million to a total that now stands at $22.6 million. Dolphin Tale 2’s current cume is $33.7 million, $4.8 million of which it earned this weekend.