Weekend Box Office: “Equalizer” opens huge, “Boxtrolls” building

boxThe telling day for any kids’ cartoon is the Saturday take, opening weekend, at the box office. It’s a full day when parents take their kids to the movies, and estimates from outfits like Deadline.com are always low, coming in Friday, because nobody there seems to take this into account.

And this movie’s commercials show just how hard it is to market. The trailers and TV spots don’t sell it, do it justice. As with “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” the texture of the stop motion animation, the dry wit of the writing and vocal performances, don’t lend themselves to a slapstick sales pitch. And it’s delightful.

So, low $20s, based on my read of the Friday take. Upper teens says Deadline.

Denzel Washington has a big hit, and a franchise-launch (a first for him) with “The Equalizer.” It cleaned up Friday and looks to clear $30 million by midnight Sunday.

This, despite the fact that Universal opened the similar but inferior “A Walk Among Tombstones” last weekend. Liam is cool, but past his “Taken” expiration date. And whatever business that film did Denzel just took away.

“This is Where I Leave You” is holding audience, thanks to the lack of competition.  Better comedies like “The Skeleton Twins” have not opened widely enough to crack the top ten.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” lingers, “Let’s Be Cops” is turning into one of the biggest comedies of the year. Go figure.

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