Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer 3 made a killing at the Labor Day weekend box office, earning an estimated $34.5 million between Friday and Sunday, according to studio figures compiled by Comscore.
The Sony Pictures release from director Antoine Fuqua debuted in 3,965 locations across the U.S. and Canada, and is projected to ring up $42 million when Monday’s holiday ticket sales are added in.
Those figures marked the second-best Labor Day weekend opening of all-time, after Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings debuted in 2021 with $75 million over three days and $94.6 million through Monday.
The previous second-place holder was Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake, which earned $26 million in three days and $30 million through Monday.
Overseas, The Equalizer 3 made $26 million, for a global total of $60.6 million through Sunday.
Related Story: ‘The Equalizer 3’ Teases Denzel Washington’s Unconventional Arsenal
This third installment of the franchise follows Washington’s retired government assassin Robert McCall leaving Boston behind for a quiet life in Southern Italy. But as the mafia wreaks havoc on local residents, McCall activates his stopwatch and unleashes a wave of vigilante justice.
Dakota Fanning co-stars in the film, marking the first time she’s teamed up with Washington on screen since Man on Fire debuted in 2004, when she was 10 years old. The cast also includes David Denman, Eugenio Mastrandrea, Gaia Scodellaro, and Andrea Scarduzio.
A dramatic twist at the end of The Equalizer 3, reveals how Fanning’s character is connected to the two previous films.
This latest chapter, which is said to be the final installment of the franchise, posted similar opening numbers to the two previous films. The Equalizer debuted with $34 million in 2014, and The Equalizer 2 debuted to $36 million in 2018.
The difference this time, The Equalizer 3 opened amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes, with actors barred from promoting studio projects.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, credits the film’s strong debut to Denzel’s popularity.
“Denzel Washington is the very definition of a movie star and his star shines so bright that his name alone is enough for the audience to get on board and head out to the multiplex even without his ability to actively promote The Equalizer 3,” Dergarabedian told Urban Hollywood 411 on Sunday.
The first two films, also directed by Antoine Fuqua, went on to make about $200 million worldwide. The third film, which cost a reported $70 million to produce, is expected to post similar earnings by the end of its box-office run.
“The popularity of The Equalizer franchise has been built over the course of the previous two installments and powered by a portrayal perfectly realized by Denzel Washington,” Dergarabedian added. “He is undeniably one of the greatest and most bankable stars working today.”
Loosely based on the 1985 TV series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim, The Equalizer 3 is written by Richard Wenk.
Moviegoers liked what they saw, giving the film an “A” CinemaScore.
Critics also embraced the movie, handing it a 76 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Most praised Washington’s performance and the film’s scenic locations in Italy. Although some criticized the movie’s “sadistic violence.”
Elsewhere this weekend at the domestic box office, Barbie came in second place with $10.6 million in its seventh week of release.
Blue Beetle was third with $7.2 million Friday through Sunday in its third weekend in theaters.
Last weekend’s leader, Gran Turismo slipped to fourth place with $6.5 million. Oppenheimer rounded out the top five with $5.5 million in its seventh week.
The post ‘The Equalizer 3’ Scores Second-Highest Labor Day Weekend Opening Ever appeared first on Urban Hollywood 411.
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