The Big Picture
- The Equalizer 3 has had a fantastic opening weekend, topping the global box office with a $60 million debut, surpassing the previous films in the franchise.
- The film is on track to gross around $42 million domestically over the Labor Day weekend, making it the second-best Labor Day debut ever.
- Denzel Washington’s star power and the franchise’s sustained popularity contribute to the film’s success, as audiences are drawn to theaters to see his performance.
As a late summer surprise, Sony’s The Equalizer 3 has topped the global box office with a spectacular performance in its opening weekend. Not only did the action film finish at the number one spot domestically, but it also generated a franchise-best haul from overseas markets, for a global debut of $60 million. Collectively, the two previous Equalizer movies had made $382 million globally. The Equalizer 3 grossed $13 million on Friday at the domestic box office, followed by $11 million on Saturday and a projected $10 million on Sunday, for a three-day haul of around $34 million.
The movie is expected to gross around $42 million across the extended four-day Labor Day weekend, marking the second-best Labor Day debut ever, behind Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Internationally, The Equalizer 3 added a hair over $26 million this weekend, which is 19% ahead of the previous installment and 29% ahead of the original in like markets at current exchange rates.
Each film in the franchise has been directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Denzel Washington in the central role of a violent ex-Marine named Robert McCall. The first film was released nearly a decade ago in 2014 and concluded its domestic run with $101 million and global run with $192 million. The Equalizer 2 was released four years later and delivered almost identical numbers — $102 million domestically and $190 million worldwide. Sony would be hoping for the third (and supposedly final) installment to crack the $200 million mark globally for the first time in the series’ history. Europe delivered $15.6 million this weekend, led by the U.K. ($3.5 million across five days), followed by France ($2.8 million), Germany ($2.4 million) and Spain ($1.7 million). In the Asia Pacific region, the film logged $5.7 million in total, led by Australia with $2.3 million, followed by Indonesia’s $1.1 million. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia delivered a $1.6 million debut.
Washington Is Quietly One of the Biggest Box Office Draws in the World
The franchise’s sustained popularity further proves that Washington is one of the last remaining movie stars — someone with the ability to draw audiences to theaters purely on the strength of his goodwill. He most famously collaborated with Fuqua on the 2001 crime thriller Training Day, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He also worked with co-star Dakota Fanning on the cult hit 2004 film Man on Fire, directed by the late, great Tony Scott.
The Equalizer 3 has a bright future ahead of it, considering the franchise-best reviews that it has opened to. The movie currently sits at a “fresh” 76% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, where its audience score is even better, at 93%. The Equalizer 3 also earned a strong A CinemaScore from opening day audiences. The movie features David Denman, Sonia Ammar, and Remo Girone in supporting roles.
The Equalizer 3 is currently playing in theaters. Don’t miss our interview with director Antoine Fuqua, and stay tuned at Collider for further box office updates.