As the summer box office season officially closes out this Labor Day weekend, Sony’s “The Equalizer 3” has earned $13.1 million from 3,965 theaters and is projected for a $42-43 million opening over the 4-day holiday weekend.
That opening will be enough to push this summer’s domestic box office past $4 billion, a benchmark that the movie theater industry was looking to clear as it continues recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A release slate of summer films with more frequent high-profile releases helped get the summer season to this mark, with Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” leading the way with over $600 million in domestic grosses. On Friday, “Barbie” also passed “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” to become the year’s highest grossing film worldwide with $1.36 billion.
Back to “Equalizer 3,” which is meeting pre-release projection and should be a modest box office success against its reported $70 million budget co-financed by TSG and Eagle Pictures. Starring Denzel Washington and directed by Antoine Fuqua, the previous “Equalizer” films opened to $34 million in 2014 and $36 million in 2018 before inflation adjustment. For the 3-day weekend, “Equalizer 3” will open in the same range at around $35 million.
Fans of the “Equalizer” trilogy have shown that they are quite satisfied with the new installment, giving it an A on CinemaScore with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 76% critics and 93% audience. The film played evenly across ethnicities with opening day demo breakdowns of 33% white, 31% Black, 20% Latino and 15% Asian/other.