With a strong Friday night showing, the Denzel Washington shoot-em-up The Equalizer was bound for a better-than-expected debut this weekend, flirting with a $ 36 million bow for Sony Pictures. The film scored an A- with CinemaScore, boosting its chance at a sustained run into the early fall season. The Maze Runner and The Boxtrolls, meanwhile, appear to be neck and neck. The Boxtrolls, whose youth-driven audience will come out in force Saturday and Sunday, saw a respectable Friday haul of about $ 5 million for Focus Features. The film, which earned a B+ on Cinemascore, is within striking distance of a $ 16.5 million debut.
If estimates hold, The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua will have the largest debut of his career, and the grisly crime story will set the mark for largest September debut for an R-rated movie. Washington, who has never appeared in a sequel, may have to consider one if The Equalizer becomes a franchise as the studio hopes.
The second weekend of The Maze Runner is still running strong for Fox and is expected to capture $ 16.5-17$ M. The other two films in their sophomore frames — the grisly Liam Neeson-starring A Walk Among The Tombstones from Universal and the R-rated comedy This is Where I Leave You from Warner Bros. — look to face larger drops in their second frames.
The early numbers:
1). The Equalizer (SONY), 3,236 theaters / $ 12.5-13M Fri. (includes $ 1.45M late nights) / 3-day est. cume: $ 33-37M / Wk 1
2). The Maze Runner (FOX), 3,638 theaters (9%) / $ 5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 16-17M (-44%) / Total cume: $ 58M / Wk 2).
3). The Boxtrolls (FOC), 3,464 theaters / $ 4.8M Fri. (includes $ 1.45M late nights) / 3-day est. cume: $ 16.5M / Wk 1
4). This is Where I Leave You (WB), 2,868 theaters/ $ 2.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 7 M (-50%) / Total cume: $ 22.5M / Wk 2
5). Dolphin Tale 2 (WB), 3,376 theaters (-8%) / $ M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 5M (-43%)/ Total cume: $ 33M / Wk 3
6). No Good Deed (SONY), 2,130 theaters (-2%) / $ 1.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 4.6M / Total cume: $ 46M / Wk 3
7). A Walk Among the Tombstones (UNI), 2,714 theaters (-1%) / $ 1.3M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 4.4M / Total cume: $ 21M / Wk 2
8). Guardians of the Galaxy (DIS), 2,451 theaters (-16%) / $ 1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 3.7M / Total cume: $ 319M / Wk 9
9). Let’s Be Cops (FOX), 1,534 theaters (-33%) / $ 400K Fri. / 3-day cume: $ 1.4M / Total cume: $ 79M / Wk 7
10). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PAR), 1,585 theaters (-32%) / $ 340K Friday / 3-day cume: $ 1.4M / Total cume: $ 187M / Wk 8