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Denzel Washington‘s Baby Boomer-skewing thriller “The Equalizer” opened at the top of the box office this weekend, dethroning last weekend’s champ “The Maze Runner” and taking in an estimated $35 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo. This makes “Equalizer” the fourth biggest September opening in cinematic history, right behind “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Insidious: Chapter 2,” and “Hotel Transylvania.”

“Equalizer” is also the 12th Denzel-starring movie to open north of $20 million (excluding “The Great Debaters”) and his third highest opening ever, trailing behind the $40.2 million of “Safe House” and the $43.6 million of “American Gangster.” This proves that whether in dramatic roles or more action-heavy roles like this or “Training Day,” Denzel is still a bona fide movie star whose name all but guarantees big business. Heavy promotion and Eminem‘s new song “Guts Over Fear” didn’t hurt, either.

    

The movie brought in crowds of both genders, with 52% being male but was more lopsided when it came to age, with 65% of ticket buyers over the age of 30. With a very healthy A- grade from box office aggregator CinemaScore, the Antoine Fuqua-directed thriller looks to have strong legs as the fall movie season kicks into high gear.

The latest offering from Laika Animation (“Coraline,” “ParaNorman”) “The Boxtrolls” opened in third place, with a $17.2 million draw. With a lack of kids entertainment for a while and warm reviews from critics, that gives “The Boxtrolls” ample time to rake in some money before the opening of “The Book of Life” in the middle of October.

The comedy “This Is Where I Leave You” stumbled into fourth place in its second weekend with a $7 million take, while “Dolphin Tale 2” took fifth with just under $5 million for a $33.6 million total so far.

“No Good Deed,” the thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson, tumbled 53% from last weekend into sixth place in its third weekend, grossing about $4.6 million for a $46.6 million total thus far. Off of a $13 million budget, it’s good to see that “No Good Deed” is making a profit.

Dylan “CineMasai” Green is a movie geek, hip-hop aficionado, and pita chip enthusiast. Find him on Twitter.

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