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‘Equalizer 3’ breaks box office records

The third installment in the Denzel Washington-led “Equalizer” franchise topped the domestic box office this weekend with $34.5 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Sony expects that total to rise to $42 million by the end of Monday’s holiday.

Labor Day signals the end of Hollywood’s summer movie season; ticket sales will exceed $4 billion for the first time since the pandemic; This is largely thanks to “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”, who are still breaking records after seven weeks. theaters. This weekend, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” has officially become the biggest movie of 2023, surpassing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” to gross over $1.36 billion worldwide. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is the number 3 movie of 2023, with over $850 million worldwide. year and Nolan’s third-highest-grossing.

“The Equalizer 3” has come at an alarming time for Hollywood; The actors have been on strike for fair contracts with major entertainment companies and movie theaters for seven weeks, and are gearing up for a somewhat exhausted fall season as a result.

The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike meant that Washington could not keep up with the film directed by frequent collaborator Antoine Fuqua, which brought vigilante character Robert McCall to the Amalfi coast of Italy. While the absence of a major star on a promotional tour is normally seen as a liability for a movie’s box office potential, “Equalizer 3” may be the rare exception that could withstand being released without Washington’s help simply because it’s a recognizable series.

“One of the world’s biggest movie stars put us in a very good spot,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “Studios usually get closer to Labor Day, but Sony was wise to choose the opening of ‘The Equalizer 3’ this weekend.”

Sony opened R-rated “Equalizer 3” in more than 3,900 locations in North America, including IMAX and premium wide-format displays, in line with the previous two films, both of which grossed over $190 million worldwide . With co-financing from TSG and Eagle Pictures, the film carried a production price tag of $70 million. The film received generally positive reviews from critics (76% on Rotten Tomatoes) and extremely positive reviews from audiences; these reviews gave the film an A on CinemaScore and five stars on PostTrak.

“The consistency of the Equalizer line is uncanny,” Dergarabedian said.

Overseas, it generated $26.1 million in revenue, contributing to $60.6 million in global output.

In second place, “Barbie” increased its domestic total to $609.5 million, with an increase of $10.6 million in the US and Canada over the weekend. Warner Bros.’ Another important feature film, “Blue Bug”, took second place, adding $7.3 million. The DC superhero movie grossed $56.6 million in three weekends in North America. Sony’s “Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story” took fourth place; this movie is projecting $6.6 million through Sunday and $8.5 million including Monday, down 62% from its initial opening weekend.

“Oppenheimer” topped the domestic charts with an estimated $5.5 million ($7.4 million including Monday estimates) from 2,543 theaters. This brings the domestic total to $310,3 million and the global total to $851 million.

The Universal movie premiered in China on Wednesday and was shown on 35,000 screens and is estimated to have grossed $30.3 million in its first five days. A significant portion of that ($9.3 million through Sunday) came from 736 IMAX screens.

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond said in a statement that “Oppenheimer’s “debut in China shows that he is “not close to finishing off the dazzling audiences worldwide.” Gelfond added that its success is also “a strong indication of our growing market share worldwide”.

Reaching $4 billion for an 18-week summer film season is significant for an industry still struggling to recover from the pandemic and facing uncertainty over whether cast and writers’ strikes will continue into the fall. Before the pandemic, $4 billion summers had become the standard for the industry, often accounting for at least 40% of the year’s total box office. It earned a net $3.4 billion last summer.

This summer, there were hits, failures and surprises; “Barbenheimer” generated more than $900 million of the $4 billion shipping.

“The summer box office is vital and a powerful indicator of the health of the industry,” Dergarabedian said. “Many people were really skeptical that we were going to reach $4 billion. In the last days of summer, we are literally coming to this situation. It’s a reminder that any hit or miss has a profound effect on the outcome.”

Estimated ticket sales in US and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released on Tuesday.

1. “Equalizer 3”, $34.5 million.

2. “Barbie”, $10.6 million.

3. “The Blue Bug”, $7.3 million.

4. “Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story,” $6.6 million.

5. “Oppenheimer”, $5.5 million.

6. “Young Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” $4.8 million.

7. “The Bottoms”, $3 million.

8. “Meg 2: The Trench,” $2.9 million.

9. “The Strays”, $2.5 million.

10. “Talk to Me,” $1.8 million.

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