Weekend box office projections: THE EQUALIZER 3 aims to debut at No. 2 on Labor Day

Photography: Stefano Montesi, courtesy of Sony Pictures

Summer movie season is officially coming to a close as fall kicks off with a welcome infusion of business in the run-up to Labor Day.

We’re going in this weekend, except for 2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsIt’s been 16 years since any movie made $30 million or more over the four-day Labor Day holiday period. That was Rob Zombie Halloween remake, which tipped to $30.6 million in 2007.

equalizer 3

Sony Pictures

September 1, 2023 (wide)

3-day opening weekend range: $28 million – $34 million
4-day opening weekend range: $35 million – $42 million


  • Activity is starting to heat up as the final days of summer and last weekend’s National Movie Day move into the rearview mirror. Trend lines are closing from last year Express trainbut with a significant overload evident as Friday sales lead previews by over 67 percent as of Wednesday morning.
  • As shown in previous tracking reports, the equalizer The franchise has been remarkably consistent in its first installments with box office debuts of $34.1 million and $36 million, respectively.
  • With the older moviegoer base expected to be roughly 70 percent 30 and older, there’s likely to be an extra load throughout the weekend compared to other fan-driven premieres like the last one. John Wick: Chapter 4. Having the premium screen in IMAX and other formats will also help generate revenue.
  • In this regard, marketing focused on adult males during sporting events in recent weeks has provided the studio with a crutch to draw on rather than other promotional avenues that continued strikes have prevented (more on that below).


  • Between the second five years equalizer The film and this installment, and given how consumer habits have shifted among the franchise’s target audience demographic more than any sector since the pandemic, it’s only natural to expect some diminishing returns for this third act.
  • With the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes still ongoing, Denzel Washington and the cast have been unable to promote this film on the usual press circuit tour that might effectively boost target audience awareness under normal circumstances.
  • And with Hurricane Adalia closing some theaters in Florida and creating other weather events in the southeastern United States, the outlook for that broader geographic region of the country has become volatile.

Current projection ranges are calling for 83% increase of a comparable Labor Day weekend top ten total of $42.4 million in 2022 and 21% increase From the 2019 Labor Day fund which is valued at $63.9 million.

film studio 3-day weekend forecast Projected domestic total through Sunday, September 3 Predicted number of Friday locations (as of Wed) 3-Day % Change from Last Wknd 4-day weekend forecast Projected domestic total through Monday, September 4
equalizer 3 Sony and Columbia Pictures 31,000,000 dollars 31,000,000 dollars ~3900 new 37,600,000 dollars 37,600,000 dollars
Barbie Pictures Warner Bros 11,100,000 dollars 610,000,000 dollars ~ 3700 -27% $14,300,000 $613,200,000
blue beetle Pictures Warner Bros $7,500,000 $57,400,000 ~ 3400 -38% $10,600,000 $60,500,000
Oppenheimer Universal Pictures $7,000,000 $310,000,000 ~ 2700 -15% $9,100,000 $312,100,000
Gran Turismo Sony pictures 6,500,000 dollars $28,300,000 ~3856 -63% 8,500,000 dollars 30,300,000 dollars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Chaos Paramount Pictures 4,500,000 dollars 106,100,000 dollars ~3,100 -38% $6,100,000 107,700,000 dollars
electrolytes Universal Pictures 3,400,000 dollars $21,600,000 ~2,700 -31% 4,400,000 dollars $22,600,000
MiG-2: The Trench Pictures Warner Bros 3,100,000 dollars $78,700,000 ~2400 -35% 4,100,000 dollars $79,700,000
hill Briarcliff Entertainment $1,700,000 5,000,000 dollars ~1800 -26% $2,300,000 5,600,000 dollars
retribution Lionsgate 1,600,000 dollars $6,400,000 ~1800 -55% 2,000,000 dollars $6,800,000

All forecasts are subject to revision/terminationn prior to the first confirmation of editorial previews or Friday estimates from studios or official sources.

Stage numbers are either studio estimates or unofficial projections if they are prefixed with a “~”.

The above table is not necessarily representative of the top 10 as some studios are not finalizing their weekend location counts and/or intend to report box office returns prior to release.

Photography: Stefano Montesi, courtesy of Sony Pictures

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