BOX OFFICE: "The Equalizer" Blows Up the Box Office Competition

The Denzel Washington revenge thriller "The Equalizer" blew away the competition at the North American box office this weekend, earning an estimated $35 million in its first week.

In its second week, "The Maze Runner" finished slightly ahead of the debut of "The Boxtrolls," the stop-motion family film. The two movies picked up $17.5 and $17.2 million respectively, landing in the second and third top spots for the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

"The Boxtrolls," about a boy named Egg who lives with subterranean cardboard-wearing trolls, is the third feature from Portland-based Laika Studios and their best opening weekend performer. Their first film, 2009's "Coraline" -- based on the Neil Gaiman story -- opened to $16.8 million, while 2012's "ParaNorman" picked up $14 million in its first week. "The Boxtrolls" is also the third-best opening for a stop-motion film, behind Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" and "Chicken Run."

"Guardians of the Galaxy" -- the biggest earner of the year -- passed the first "Iron Man" this weekend and now sits third overall for Marvel Studios. Guardians, which is at $319 million after this weekend, still has a ways to go before it can catch second-place "Iron Man 3's" $409 million domestic gross.

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