Denzel Washington’s latest action/thriller The Equalizer topped the weekend box office with $35 million. This is the third-best premiere showing for Denzel. American Gangster is number one opening at $43.6 million in 2007; and Safe House is number two at $40.1 million in 2012.
The Equalizer, about a “former commando living a quiet life in Boston when the disappearance of a prostitute acquaintance (Chloe Grace Moretz) lures him into a battle with the Russian mafia,” is another collaboration between Washington and his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua. According to The New York Daily News, it’s loosely based on the 1980s show of the same name, and a sequel is already in the works with thoughts of making this a franchise. The movie had been projected to score somewhere in the $25 million range for the weekend, so it exceeded expectations. It was helped by its showing in IMAX theaters.
Denzel is turning 60 in December, which puts him up there with Liam Neeson and The Expendables in terms of the new trend towards older male action heroes.
That older demographic falls in line with the audience; 65 percent of those people who saw The Equalizer this weekend were over 30 years old. In terms of gender, the audience was more evenly split, 52 percent male and 48 percent female, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Rounding out the top five in order are: last week’s number one, the young-adult adaptation of the book The Maze Runner ($17.5 million); the animated family move The Boxtrolls ($17.2 million); the adult ensemble comedy starring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda This Is Where I Leave You ($7 million); and the family movie Dolphin Tale 2 with Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr. at $4.8 million. No Good Deed with Idris Elba and Taraji P. Hensen fell from the top spot two weeks ago to number six with $4.6 million.
In case you haven’t seen the trailer, here you go.