Sony and Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer opened on 2,693 runs last night starting at 7 PM and took in about $1.45M. The best comp for this one is probably 2 Guns, which grossed about $1.27M at 8 PM screenings and ended up at $27M for the weekend. Another comp to look at is Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop which — like the Denzel pic — also had higher female interest. That one grossed $720K in 1,928 late-night spots (725 fewer) and had a three-day weekend of $28.8M. The Equalizer is also skewing higher with African-Americans (the movie viewing habits of which the industry traditionally has a harder time tracking) so we expect this to have a decent Friday night and late night take as the R-rated audiences will come out in force on its way to a nice weekend. Yes, it could pop over $30M … low $30Ms is very possible.

The Boxtrolls is not reporting numbers because they say there limited late night screenings but updates will be in later today when the matinees kick in. Maybe $16M+ for this one at the moment.

In terms of social media, The Equalizer‘s rate of fans re-posting trailers and clips is impressive at 15-to-1 which shows us a very strong indication of intent, says RelishMix which tracks social engagement among the Big Three — Twitter, FB and YouTube. Equalizer‘s YouTube views are at 15.6 million, all ticking up, day-by-day. The Boxtrolls is tracking lighter especially on YouTube as expected for a family film.

The-Equalizer-10-Chloë-Grace-MoretzIn addition, Equalizer co-star Chloe Grace Moretz’s rotation across the talk circuit is fueling her 1.2 million Twitter followers every few hours. There’s also another million fans across scores of fans pages for Moretz that are supporting her and Denzel Washington as well.

But, it’s Eminem whose song collaboration with Sia is debuting on the soundtrack of The Equalizer which has created the greatest reach. The Detroit rapper has the second greatest social footprint (behind Shakira) of all musicians on FB with 94 million likes and an additional 18.7 million on Twitter and his team is pushing it out. Waiting on Boxtrolls …