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Denzel tops the box office with ‘The Equalizer’

Shonda McClain | 9/29/2014, 12:46 p.m.
“The Equalizer,” starring Denzel Washington, took out the competition this weekend, tipping the box office at $35 million.
Denzel Washington stars in "The Equalizer."

“The Equalizer,” starring Denzel Washington, took out the competition this weekend, tipping the box office at $35 million.

The action thriller reunited the Oscar-winner with his “Training Day” director, Antoine Fuqua,” for the reimagining of the 1980’s television series about a retired intelligence agent-turned vigilante, Robert McCall, who cruises New York City in a Jaguar. This time around, McCall is an ex Special Forces member who is living a quiet life in Boston. His mode of travel – a public bus.

At 59, Washington’s star power is still at full wattage. "He's one of the few actors on the planet that really appeals to everyone. And he and Antoine just bring out the best in each other," Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer told USA Today.

A sequel for the film is already in the works, according to deadline.com.

Washington’s biggest box office opening was 2007’s “American Gangster” ($40.6 million), followed by 2012’s “Safe House” ($40.2 million). “The Equalizer” may be Washington’s third turn at box office gold, but this is a career best for Fuqua. “Training Day” debuted at $22.2 million in 2001.

Up next for Washington – horseback riding lessons.

The actor announced on “Good Morning America” that his next film will be a remake of the cult western classic “The Magnificent Seven.” The film, which will also be directed by Fuqua, is a remake of the 1960 John Sturges-directed film that starred an ensemble cast, featuring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Charles Bronson.

“Denzel’s all about the work,” Fuqua told Variety about their forthcoming collaboration. “He’s all about the acting. He’s an actor. He’ll tell you himself, ‘I’m not a movie star, celebrity, something else, I’m an actor.’ He steps on a set that’s what he is and that’s what he gives you. He gives his heart.”

Fuqua is next directing the Weinstein Company’s “Southpaw,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o.

Follow me on Twitter @ShondaMcClain.