UPDATE 1-Denzel Washington's 'Equalizer' tops box office
(Expands, adds detail and quote)
LOS ANGELES, Sept 28 (Reuters) - "The Equalizer," a thriller starring Denzel Washington as a man who helps rescue a teen girl under the control of Russian gangsters, debuted in the top spot on U.S. and Canadian movie charts over the weekend with $35 million in ticket sales.
Young adult drama "The Maze Runner" dropped to second place after winning the box office race last weekend. "Maze Runner" earned $17.5 million at domestic theaters from Friday through Sunday, according to tracking firm Rentrak.
Quirky animated movie "The Boxtrolls," starring grunting green monsters that wear cardboard, finished third in its opening weekend, grossing $17.3 million.
The performance of "The Equalizer" was on par with predictions for a start around $35 million, the forecast by Boxoffice.com. Two-time Oscar winner Washington plays McCall, a trained killer who comes to the defense of the helpless, in this case a young Russian prostitute (Chloë Grace Moretz) in the grips of a human trafficking ring.
The movie based on a 1980s television series was produced by Sony Pictures and cost $55 million to make.
"Denzel worked hard to get the word out about this film," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at Sony.
"Maze Runner" stars MTV "Teen Wolf" heartthrob Dylan O'Brien as one of a group of boys living in an isolated paradise where they are trapped by a giant, moving concrete maze. The film has now collected $45 million around the globe, according to distributor 20th Century Fox.
"Boxtrolls" was made by hand using stop-motion technology, where each scene is set up with puppets placed on miniature sets. The 3D film features the voices of Ben Kingsley and Elle Fanning. It is based on a book by British author Alan Snow and inspired by British comedy troupe Monty Python. Continued...