A two-time Academy Award winner as quasi-superhero proved to be the perfect bridge between summer blockbusters and fall awards season this weekend, as The Equalizer bested its tepid reviews to debut at an impressive $35 million. This marks the third highest domestic box-office opening of Washington’s career, and all but assures that The Equalizer will be sequelized sooner rather than later. The Equalizer’s success, however, came at the expense of fellow vengeance-minded father figure Liam Neeson, whose A Walk Among The Tombstones fell to seventh place with $4.23 million. Washington also soundly defeated his handsome-but-still-very-serious peer Idris Elba, whose home invasion thriller No Good Deed fell to sixth place with $4.6 million.
While their parents went to see Denzel blow stuff up, teens watched teens fight for their lives in The Maze Runner, which pulled in an additional $17.5 million to bring its domestic total up to $58 million. Although it fell to No. 2 domestically, The Maze Runner is reportedly doing very well overseas, ensuring that we will have to endure grown adults treating YA novels like serious literature for at least another year or two. Their younger siblings, meanwhile, propelled the macabre fairytale The Boxtrolls to No. 3 with $17.25 million. Another kids’ movie, Dolphin Tale 2, came in at No. 5 with $4.83 million, presumably thanks to children too sensitive for a movie about monsters, even friendly ones.
Lest the quirky comedy fans be left out of the morbid festivities, This Is Where I Leave You—starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman as unlikely siblings sitting Shiva for their estranged father—pulled in $7 million to come in at fourth place. The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by summer leftovers Guardians Of The Galaxy ($3.8 million), Let’s Be Cops ($1.5 million), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($1.45 million), because sometimes violence is a lot more fun with jokes attached.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.