One of the most quiet box office kings these days is Denzel Washington. While Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Will Smith have found considerable hardship staying strong in the box office, Washington has been consistent throughout his entire career. He scored a 35 million dollar opening with The Equalizer, the smash and grab action blast from the past that opened on Friday. Collaborating with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua for the first time in over 10 years, Washington scored the biggest opening by an R rated film in September.
The Maze Runner, the teen thriller, took second place with 17.5 million. It was no match for the Denzel train. He scored a great opening last year with Safe House, a decent film that didn’t stretch too far at the box office. The Equalizer has the chance to grow some legs in the box office and hang around a bit. Audiences will dig this 1980’s type action film, which has a few powerful moments, is smarter than it looks and doesn’t slow down much. It’s eager to please and easy on the eyes. I would even invite a sequel if the film took in enough money, but we will see.
Next weekend, the highly anticipated Gone Girl arrives in theaters. David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best selling novel stars Ben Affleck and Rosemund Pike and was adapted for the screen by Flynn herself. Going against it are the horror flick Annabelle(Conjuring prequel) and the Reese Witherspoon vehicle, The Good Lie. Denzel will be an underdog to retain the box office title, but I think The Equalizer will have a decent second week en route to a surprising finishing figure.