HOLLYWOOD—All it takes is a top-notch movie star to bring in big numbers at the box-office. Denzel Washington is one of those stars. Washington’s latest film, “The Equalizer” dominated the multiplex bringing in more than $35 million in its opening weekend. That’s a strong opening for an R-rated action thriller, which is the right debut to elicit a sequel in what many is expecting to become a franchise.

Falling to the #2 spot was the movie “The Maze Runner” with around $17.5 million. The film only dropped about 50 percent in its second week in theaters.  After two weeks, the surprise hit has already earned over $50 million at the domestic box-office. Grabbing the #3 spot was the animated flick “The Boxtrolls” which earned about $17.25 million. Many expected the movie to top the box-office, but Mr. Washington had other plans.

Landing in the #4 spot is the teen drama “If I Stay” adding another $7 million to its tally. This flick is proving to have plenty of staying power in theaters after nearly a month since its release. Rounding out the top five was the feel-good family flick “Dolphin Tale 2” with just under $5 million. Next week ushers in the start of Oscar bait as the highly anticipated “Gone Girl” starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike arrives at the multiplex.