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The Equalizer 3 Makes a Labor Day Box Office Splash


The summer box office season concluded on a high note as The Equalizer 3, starring two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, stormed into theaters, securing the second-best Labor Day weekend in cinematic history. The action-packed sequel, which has received praise from critics with a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, amassed an estimated $42 million over the four-day holiday weekend, according to Deadline.

While The Equalizer 3 claimed a respectable second place for the four-day Labor Day weekend, it couldn’t surpass the 2021 Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which boasted a four-day haul of $94.6 million. Nevertheless, this weekend’s success pushed the entire summer box office tally over the $4 billion mark, a return to pre-pandemic norms that hadn’t been seen post-pandemic until now.

The film’s $34.5 million three-day total intriguingly mirrors its predecessors, 2014’s The Equalizer ($34.1 million) and 2018’s The Equalizer 2 ($36 million). The Equalizer 3, featuring Denzel Washington reprising his role as Robert McCall, premiered in 3,965 theaters during the holiday period, boasting an impressive per-screen average of $10,592. This performance puts the sequel well on its way to recouping its reported $70 million budget, a remarkable feat considering the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Notably, one of the primary strike rules for both writers and actors is a ban on any member participating in press or promotion for a project produced or distributed by a struck company. This means that the film might have achieved even greater success if stars like Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning could have undertaken traditional promotional activities.

Despite this limitation, the movie performed admirably in IMAX theaters, grossing $3.4 million during the four-day weekend across 360 IMAX auditoriums. In the rest of the box office, Barbie continued its impressive run, securing second place with $13 million over the four-day weekend ($10.5 million for the three-day weekend). The film’s total now stands at $1.38 billion, making it the highest-grossing film of 2023 and the most significant hit in Warner Bros. history.

Rounding out the top five are The Blue Beetle in third place with $9 million for the four-day weekend ($7.2 million for the three-day weekend), Gran Turismo in fourth place with $8.5 million for the four-day weekend ($6.5 million for the three-day weekend), and Oppenheimer in fifth place with $7.2 million for the four-day weekend ($5.5 million for the three-day weekend).

The top 10 also includes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in sixth place with $6.3 million ($4.7 million for the three-day weekend), Meg 2: The Trench in seventh place with $4 million ($2.9 million for the three-day weekend), Bottoms in eighth place with $3.5 million ($3 million for the three-day weekend), Strays in ninth place with $3.1 million, and Talk to Me in tenth place with $2.2 million.

Written by
Derek Chan – Editor


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