UPDATE, MONDAY, 1:44 PM: The Equalizer came in beneath Sony’s estimates, bringing in $34.1 million for the three-day weekend, easily running over the other newcomer, the animated The Boxtrolls. However, the Denzel Washington film is likely to get side-swiped next weekend by the David Fincher-directed mystery thriller Gone Girl, which is already tracking well for an expected big weekend haul for Fox. Based on the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn, the Ben Affleck-starrer may end up cannibalizing the audience away from Denzel. Gone Girl opens in 50 markets around the world next weekend, too, giving it the first wide international rollout of the fall.

the maze runnerMeanwhile, Focus Features’ The Boxtrolls ended up with a $17.2M take as the first animated fare since June to grace theaters. It gets another weekend before Disney drops Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on October 10. Heck of a title and don’t know how we’re going to put that into a headline.

In their second frames of release, the grisly Cross Creek production of A Walk Among The Tombstones starring Liam Neeson dropped hard with a 67% decline for distributor Universal, while The Maze Runner held very strong to take the No. 2 spot to just edge out Boxtrolls. It dropped only 46%. Likewise, This is Where I Leave You held its theaters and dropped 40% but based on a weak opening last weekend for Warner Bros.

sassyishere
2 years
I read it cost $55m, so in the fist week alone the budget was covered if you...
kat
2 years
Since when is Denzel Washington not a draw internationally. Unlike the other male stars, he doesn't make...
2 years
Pathetic brat? Moi? I was responding to your ridiculous comment. Denzel single handily opening a movie at...

Also opening wide next weekend is the horror film Annabelle from Warner Bros, which already hit the international market — albeit one territory (Russia), where it arrived at No. 3. It will roll out to 22 markets internationally when it bows this coming weekend in North America. And not to be left behind is the sci-fi thriller Left Behind from Freestyle Releasing that stars Nicolas Cage.

1). The Equalizer (SONY), 3,236 theaters / 3-day cume: $34.1M / Per screen average: $10,549 / Wk 1

2). The Maze Runner (FOX), 3,664 theaters (+34) / 3-day cume: $17.4M (-46%) / Per screen: $4,793 / Total cume: $57.95M / Wk 2

3). The Boxtrolls (FOC), 3,464 theaters / 3-day cume: $17.2M / Per screen: $4,987 / Wk 1

4). This is Where I Leave You (WB), 2,868 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $6.8M (-40%) / Per screen: $2,404 / Total cume: $22.4M / Wk 2

5). Dolphin Tale 2 (WB), 3,376 theaters (-280) / 3-day cume: $4.78M / Per screen: $1,418 / Total cume: $33.6M / Wk 3

6). No Good Deed (SONY) 2,130 theaters (-45) / 3-day cume: $4.5M / Per screen: $2,117 / Total cume: $46.5M / Wk 3

7). Walk Among The Tombstones (UNI),  2,714 theaters (+2) / 3-day cume: $4.1M (-67%) / Per screen: $1,545 / Total cume: $20.8M / Wk 2

8). Guardians Of The Galaxy (DIS),  2,451 theaters (-395) / 3-day cume: $3.7M / Per screen: $1,536 / Total cume: $319.1M / Wk 9

9) Let’s Be Cops (FOX ), 1,534 theaters (-778) / 3-day cume: $1.5 M / Per screen: $988K / Total cume: $79.6M / Wk 7

10) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 1,585 theaters (-763) / 3-day cume: $1.4M / Per screen: $915K / Total cume: 187.1M / Wk 8

11). The Skeleton Twins (Roadside), 385 theaters (+336) / 3-day cume: $1.2M / Per screen: $3,200 / Total cume: $2.3M / Wk 3

12). The Drop (FSL), 1,131 theaters (-61) / 3-day cume: $1M / Per screen: $925  / Total cume: $9.6M / Wk 3

13). If I Stay (WB), 1,272 theaters (1,099) / 3-day cume: $932K / Per screen: $733 / Total cume: $49.1M / Wk 6

14). The Hundred-Foot Journey (DIS), 719 theaters (-534) / 3-day cume: $607K / Per screen: $845 / Total cume: $52.5M / Wk 8

15). My Old Lady (CMG), 255 theaters (+85) / 3-day cume: $569K / Per screen: $2,233 / Total cume: $1.4M / Wk 3

16). The Song (IDP/SamGoldwyn), 340  theaters / 3-day cume: $568K / Per screen: $16,072 / Wk  1

17). Mas Negro Que La Noche (LGF), 178 theaters / 3-day cume: $539K / Per screen: $3,033 / Wk 1

18). When the Game Stands Tall (SONY), 794 theaters (-908) / 3-day cume: $523K / Per screen: $660 / Total cume: $29.2M / Wk 6

19). The Giver (TWC), 702 theaters (-905) / 3-day cume: $422K / Per screen: $602 / Total cume: $43.8M / Wk 7

20). Lucy (UNI), 488 theaters (-300) / 3-day cume: $370K / Per screen: $760 / Total cume: $125.4M / Wk 10

PREVIOUS, SUNDAY, 9:22 AM: With Denzel Washington driving the star vehicle and Eminem driving the soundtrack, The Equalizer rolled to a weekend win, giving Sony Pictures another successful big-screen rendition of a 1980s TV show. And if the studio can convince the sequel-shy Washington to agree to a series, Sony has designs on a franchise.

The grisly big-screen version of the 1985 series, which re-teamed Washington with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, corralled $35 million, the high end of projections. The bow marked the largest of Fuqua’s career and the biggest September debut for an R-rated film, crushing Jackass: Number Two, which opened to $29 million in 2006. Equalizer also grabbed about $5 million globally on IMAX screens — including $3.3 million domestically, setting a new September record for IMAX openers. If estimates hold, the debut will mark the third-biggest of Washington’s career, behind only 2007’s American Gangster ($43.6M million) and 2012’s Safe House ($40.2 million). It also would be the third-largest September debut on record.

Sony executives did not lack for confidence in the Richard Wenk-penned script, which benefitted from a marketing campaign that included a specially-cut trailer for Eminem’s “Guts Over Fear.” The artist sent the video through his social-media channels, which include 18.7 million Twitter followers and 95 million Facebook fans.

“Frankly, from the time we saw the first frame, we felt like we were going to bring it home,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of distribution. The film drew a sizable chunk of moviegoers old enough to remember the Edward Woodward series: just 35% were 35 and younger, while males made up 52% of audiences.

The No. 1 comes in the wake of Sony’s success with 22 Jump Street, the TV adaptation that debuted in June and became the studio’s second biggest hit of the year.

“I think the secret is keeping the bones of story,” Bruer said. The future of that story, of course, will be decided by the man reprising the role of Robert McCall. Washington has never appeared in a sequel, though at 59, he joins a surprisingly substantial list of actors that include Liam Neeson and the entire casts of The Expendables and R.E.D. as aging but still viable action heroes. “The possibilities for future stories is endless,” Bruer said.

On the youth front, the Y.A. title The Maze Runner edged out animated tale The Boxtrolls. Runner, which announced an upcoming sequel after last week’s No. 1 debut, managed to fend off the first animated option for families since How to Train Your Dragon 2 back in the summer. The weekend hold suggests a solid run for Runner into the fall season.

Boxtrolls acquitted itself nicely in filling the months-long animated vacuum, matching most expectations, and can expect to see a better multiplier than most through the fall, thanks to the repeat kid viewership. Focus Features distribution president Jim Orr said girls made up 57% of the Boxtrolls audience, another good sign for legging into October.

The early estimates:

1). The Equalizer (SONY), 3,236 theaters / $12.6M Fri./ $13.5M Sat (+8%) / $8.1M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day est. cume: $35M / Wk 1

2). The Maze Runner (FOX), 3,664 theaters (+34) / $5.2M Fri./ $7.9M Sat. (+54%) / $4.8M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day est. cume: $17.5 M (-46%) / Total cume: $58M / Wk 2

3). The Boxtrolls (FOC), 3,464 theaters / $4.9M Fri./ $7.9M Sat (+35%) / $4.8M Sun. (-35%)/ 3-day est. cume: $17.2M / Wk 1

4). This is Where I Leave You (WB), 2,868 theaters (0) / $2.1M Fri./ $3M Sat. (+41%) / $1.7M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day est. cume: $7M (-39%) / Total cume: $22.6M / Wk 2

5). Dolphin Tale 2 (WB), 3,376 theaters (-280) / $1.9M Fri. / $2.2M Sat. (+76%) / 3-day est. cume: $4.8M (-45%) / Total cume: $33.7M / Wk 3

6). No Good Deed (SONY) 2,130 theaters (-45) / $1.3M Fri./ $2.1M Sat. (+59) / $1 M Sun. (-50%) / 3-day est. cume: $4.62M / Total cume: $46.6M / Wk 3

7). Walk Among The Tombstones (UNI), 2,714 theaters (+2) / $1.2M Fri. / $1.8M Sat. (+40% ) / $1M Sun. (-40%) / 3-day est. cume: $4.2M (-67%) / Total cume: 20.9M / Wk 2

8). Guardians Of The Galaxy (DIS),  2,451 theaters (-395) / $1M Fri. / $1.7M Sat. (+73%) / $1M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day est. cume: $3.8M / Total cume: $319.2M / Wk 9

9) Let’s Be Cops (FOX ), 1,534 theaters (-778) / $430KFri./ $690K Sat. (+61%) / $380k Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $1.5M / Total cume: $79.6M / Wk 7

10) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 1,585 theaters (-763) / $340K Fri. / $680K Sat. (+99%) / $400K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $1.5M / Total cume: 187.2M / Wk 8