Denzel Washington’s ‘The Equalizer’ Levels The Box Office With $35 Million Debut

Sony_TheEqualizer_UKQuadFlexing his star power, Denzel Washington led the thriller “The Equalizer” to a $35 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Sony-Columbia Pictures release dominated the weekend box office, surpassing some expectations for the film. Washington plays a former commando living a quiet life in Boston when the disappearance of a prostitute acquaintance (Chloe Grace Moretz) lures him into a battle with the Russian mafia.

The strong opening marks the third-best debut in Washington’s career, trailing only 2012’s “Safe House” ($40.1 million) and 2007’s “American Gangster” ($43.6 million). Washington, who will turn 60 in December, has been one of Hollywood’s most reliable draws without the benefit of anything like a superhero franchise.

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