Equalizer beats foes at North American box office

WASHINGTON - Denzel Washington fought his way to the top of the North American box office in action-thriller The Equalizer, which earned US$35 million (S$45 million) in its first weekend out, industry estimates showed on Sunday.

The film knocked Fox production The Maze Runner to second place. Based on James Dashner's best-selling 2007 young-adult dystopian novel of the same name, the science-fiction film raked in US$17.5 million in its second weekend in cinemas.

Meanwhile, The Boxtrolls, an animated film about an orphaned human boy who is raised underground by friendly monsters, debuted in third place with US$17.3 million, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You landed in fourth in its second week out, taking in US$7 million.

In fifth place for a second week was Dolphin Tale 2, a family-friendly sequel starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, which earned US$4.8 million.

Thriller No Good Deed, about a devoted wife and mother who helps out a charming but dangerous escaped convict played by Idris Elba, slipped to sixth place with US$4.6 million.

In seventh place was the Liam Neeson crime drama A Walk Among The Tombstones, which took in US$4.2 million.

The movie, based on United States crime writer Lawrence Block's book of the same name, features Taken star Neeson as a former New York detective who is hired by a drug dealer to track down his wife's murderer.

In eighth place was the summer season's most successful blockbuster, Guardians Of The Galaxy, which added another US$3.8 million to its nine-week haul, which now stands at US$319 million in North America.

Screwball comedy Let's Be Cops was ninth with US$1.5 million, just ahead of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which earned US$1.45 million.