Equalizer 3 Has Forceful Debut

'Barbie' and 'Oppenheimer' still set records
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2023 1:40 PM CDT
Equalizer Makes Forceful Debut
This image released by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows Denzel Washington in a scene from "The Equalizer 3."   (Stefano Montesi/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)

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 Sunday. By the end of the Monday holiday, Sony expects that total will rise to $42 million, the AP reports. Labor Day signals the end of the summer movie season, which will surpass $4 billion in ticket sales for the first time since the pandemic, thanks in no small part to Barbie and Oppenheimer, which are still netting records even after seven weeks in theaters. This weekend, Greta Gerwig's Barbie officially became the biggest movie of 2023, with over $1.36 billion globally, while Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer sailed past $850 million to become the No. 3 movie of the year.

The Equalizer 3 arrived at a fraught time for Hollywood, with actors seven weeks into a strike against major entertainment companies and movie theaters bracing for a depleted fall season as a result. The SAG-AFTRA strike meant Washington didn't stump for the movie, which was directed by his frequent collaborator Antoine Fuqua and brings his vigilante character Robert McCall to Italy's Amalfi coast. But it's a recognizable franchise. With co-financing from TSG and Eagle Pictures, the Sony film carried a $70 million production price tag. It received generally positive reviews from critics (76% on Rotten Tomatoes) and overwhelmingly positive reviews from audiences, who gave it an A on CinemaScore and a five-star PostTrak rating. Overseas, it made $26.1 million, contributing to a $60.6 million global debut.

Below are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

  1. The Equalizer 3, $34.5 million.
  2. Barbie, $10.6 million.
  3. Blue Beetle, $7.3 million.
  4. Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story, $6.6 million.
  5. Oppenheimer, $5.5 million.
  6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, $4.8 million.
  7. Bottoms, $3 million.
  8. Meg 2: The Trench, $2.9 million.
  9. Strays, $2.5 million.
  10. Talk to Me, $1.8 million.
(More box office stories.)

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