© Sony Pictures / Courtesy Everett
Denzel Washington’s bloody killer thriller “The Equalizer 3” topped the box office with $34.5 million over the weekend and an estimated $41 million over the Labor Day weekend Monday.
It is the second largest Labor Day opening weekend in modern times, although the holiday is not known for bringing people to the movies. After Marvel’s 2021 record-breaking blockbuster “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($75 million for the three days, $94.6 million through Monday), the second-highest-grossing Labor Day debut is Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake. “Halloween” ($26 million for the three days, $30 million through Monday).
However, the turnout for “Equalizer 3” points to Washington’s status as a box office magnet. The three-day number is about the same as its predecessors, with 2014’s “The Equalizer” debuting with $34 million and 2018’s “The Equalizer 2” debuting with $36 million. These two films, also directed by Antoine Fuqua, managed to cross $100 million at the domestic box office and nearly $200 million globally. “Equalizer 3,” co-financed by Sony, TSG and Eagle Pictures, has a cost of $70 million and is targeting a similar number by the end of its run.
says David A. “This is a very good start for a third part of the action thriller,” said Gross, who runs film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “The reviews are the best in the series and the audience scores are excellent.”
As the summer draws to a close, box office revenue has reached $4 billion for the first time in the pandemic era. This milestone was made possible by unexpected mega-hits like Greta Gerwig’s fantasy comedy “Barbie” ($611 million), Christopher Nolan’s dark historical drama “Oppenheimer” ($304 million) and Jim Caviezel’s action thriller “The Voice of Freedom.” ($181 million). million). Those blockbusters made up for underperforming mainstays like DC’s superhero adaptation “The Flash” and Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” remake.
“It’s a great result and another positive step for the industry,” Gross adds.
Also this weekend, “Barbie” overtook Universal and Illumination’s animated “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” as the year’s highest-grossing worldwide release with $1.36 billion. At the domestic box office, “Barbie” remained in second place, taking in $9.7 million over the weekend and an estimated $12.6 million through Monday. Throughout its stellar theatrical run, the Warner Bros. in the top two of the North American charts for seven consecutive weeks.
“Blue Beetle” took third place, taking in $6.6 million over the weekend and an estimated $8.6 million through Monday. The comic book movie, which stars Xolo Maridueña as the alien symbiote, grossed $57 million in North America and $86 million worldwide, a modest result considering its $104 million production budget.
“Gran Turismo,” last weekend’s champ (or runner-up, depending on who you ask), slipped to fourth place with $6.5 million between Friday and Sunday and an estimated $8.4 million through Monday. The $60 million budget racing drama, which was directed by Neil Blomkamp, has grossed just $30.6 million so far.
“Oppenheimer” came in fifth with $5.3 million in its seventh weekend of release and an estimated $7 million through Monday. With $310 million at the domestic box office and $540 million internationally, “Oppenheimer” crossed $850 million worldwide to become the third-highest-grossing film of all time, ahead of “The Beginning” ($837 million). Among Nolan’s movies, it comes after The Dark Knight ($1 billion) and The Dark Knight Rises ($1.08 billion).