Box Office Results: Denzel Dominates with $35 Million Opening for The Equalizer


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The last weekend of September was a good one for Denzel Washington as he reunited with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua for a new take on the ’80s show The Equalizer (Sony), co-starring Chloe Moretz and Marton Csokas, which opened with a solid $35 million in 3,236 theaters. It averaged over $10,000 per location and is the third biggest opening in Washington’s career following 2007’s American Gangster and 2012’s Safe House, just ahead of the $32.8 million opening of 2010’s The Book of Eli. Out of that opening weekend take, over $3.3 million was grossed in 352 IMAX screens across the country. Sony has already greenlit the sequel to The Equalizer, which would presumably have Washington reprise the role, but first, he and Antoine Fuqua will do a remake of The Magnificent Seven, a Western, scheduled to start shooting next year.

The Equalizer opened in 65 other territories overseas where it brought in $17.8 million with 137 IMAX screenings accounting for more than $1.4 million. It was #1 in the United Kingdom with $2.9 million on 650 screens, while Russia was close behind with $2.7 million on 800 screens and Mexico took in $14 million on 687 screens. Australia (which is handled by Village Roadshow) scored $1.9 million.

In its second weekend, the adaptation of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner (20th Century Fox), starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Will Poulter, moved down to second place with $17.5 million, a relatively minimal 46% drop, which is impressive compared to the second weekend of other young adult adaptations. (Earlier this year, Divergent dropped 53% in its second weekend while Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars dropped nearly 69% in its second weekend, both after bigger opening weekends.) The Maze Runner has grossed $58.2 million domestically in its first ten days with a sequel scheduled for next September.

Internationally, the action movie added another $27.5 million in its second weekend, opening at #1 in four territories including Holland and remaining at #1 in ten others, bringing its international total to $91 million and its global total to $150 million.

The hit sci-fi flick also managed to stay just ahead of the weekend’s other new movie in wide release, LAIKA Studio’s stop-motion animated The Boxtrolls (Focus Features), featuring the voices of Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright and more. It opened with an estimate of $17.3 million in 3,464 theaters (about $5,000 per location) while also taking in $17.7 million overseas in ??? territories for a first weekend total of $34.9 million.

Shawn Levy’s ensemble dramedy This is Where I Leave You (Warner Bros.) also held up well from its opening weekend, dropping 39% to fourth place with $7 million and $22.6 million total.

The thriller No Good Deed (Sony/Screen Gems), starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, finally fell behind the family sequel Dolphin Tale 2 (Warner Bros.) with $4.6 million to the latter’s $4.8 million. No Good Deed is still ahead with $46.6 million gross to “Dolphin Tale’s” $33.7 million.

The Liam Neeson crime-thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones (Universal) took a nasty plunge in its second weekend, dropping five places to #7 with $4.2 million and $20.9 million. That’s a 67% drop from its opening weekend, proving that not even the proven box office star like Liam Neeson can stand up to Denzel.

Celebrating its 9th weekend in the Top 10, Marvel and Walt Disney Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy took eighth place with $3.8 million, a minor drop of 28%, as it brought its North American total to $319.2 million, making it the third biggest Marvel Studios movie domestically.Internationally, the movie added another $4 million for an overseas total of $325 million, making it one of the few movies of the year to do equally well both domestically and overseas with a global take of $644.2 million.

The Top 10 was rounded out by Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Damon Wayans Jr.-Jake Johnson comedy Let’s Be Cops (20th Century Fox) with roughly $1.5 million each.

The estimated gross of the Top 10 came to $97.2 million, which was up slightly from last year when Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 won the weekend with $34 million while Ron Howard’s F1 drama Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth, led the other two new movies, Baggage Claim and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon, with $10 million.

As far as limited releases, the Mexican horror remake Mas Nego Que La Noche (Lionsgate/Pantelion) grossed an estimated $550 thousand in 178 theaters, while the British comedy Pride (CBS Films), starring Andrew Scott, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine, opened in six theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where it scored $85,000, averaging $14,000 per location.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.