ENTERTAINMENT

‘Equalizer 3’ cleans up, while ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ score new records

Sep 3, 2023, 2:35 PM

This image released by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows Denzel Washington in a scene from "The Equ...

This image released by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows Denzel Washington in a scene from "The Equalizer 3." (Stefano Montesi/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(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.

Labor Day signals the end of Hollywood’s 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, surpassing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” while Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” sailed past $850 million globally to become the No. 3 movie of the year and Nolan’s third highest grossing.

“The Equalizer 3” arrived at a fraught time for Hollywood, with actors seven weeks into a strike for fair contracts with major entertainment companies and movie theaters bracing for a somewhat depleted fall season as a result.

The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike meant Washington was unable to 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. While the lack of a major star on a promotional tour would normally be considered a liability for a film’s box office potential, “Equalizer 3” may be the rare exception that could withstand a rollout without Washington’s help simply because it’s a recognizable franchise.

“One of the biggest movie stars in the world took us out on a high note,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “Studios often coast to Labor Day, but Sony was smart to choose this weekend to open ‘The Equalizer 3.'”

Sony opened the R-rated “Equalizer 3” in over 3,900 locations in North America, including on IMAX and premium large format screens, where it opened in line with the previous two films which both went on to make over $190 million globally. With co-financing from TSG and Eagle Pictures, the film carried a $70 million production price tag. The film 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.

“It’s uncanny the consistency of the Equalizer franchise,” Dergarabedian said.

Overseas, it made $26.1 million, contributing to a $60.6 million global debut.

In second place, “Barbie” added $10.6 million over the weekend in the U.S. and Canada, pushing its domestic total to $609.5 million. Warner Bros.’ other main theatrical offering, “Blue Beetle” added $7.3 million to take third. The DC superhero film has grossed $56.6 million in three weekends in North America. Fourth place went to Sony’s “Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story,” which is projecting $6.6 million through Sunday, down 62% from its first place opening weekend, and $8.5 million including Monday.

‘Barbie’ is Warner Bros.’ highest-grossing global release ever

“Oppenheimer” landed in fifth place on the domestic charts with an estimated $5.5 million ($7.4 million including estimates for Monday) from 2,543 theaters. This brings its domestic total to $310.3 million and its global take to $851 million.

The Universal film opened in China on Wednesday, playing on 35,000 screens, where it is estimated to have made $30.3 million in its first five days. A significant portion of that ($9.3 million through Sunday) came from 736 IMAX screens.

IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond said in a statement that “Oppenheimer’s” China debut showed that “it’s nowhere near finished dazzling audiences worldwide.” Gelfond added that its success also offers “a powerful demonstration of our surging market share around the world.”

That the 18-week summer movie season hit $4 billion is significant for an industry still recovering from the pandemic and facing uncertainty in the fall if the actors and writers strikes continue. Before the pandemic, $4 billion summers had become the standard for the industry and generally accounted for at least 40% of the total box office for the year. Last summer netted out with $3.4 billion.

And this summer had its share of hits, flops and surprises, with “Barbenheimer” accounting for over $900 million of the $4 billion haul.

“The summer box office is vitally important and a strong indicator of the health of the industry,” Dergarabedian said. “Many were really skeptical that we could get to $4 billion. We’re hitting it literally in the final days of the summer. It’s a reminder that any hit or miss makes a profound impact on the bottom line.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday.

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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

view of a rectangular building from a wide street in Salt Lake City...

Carole Mikita

Curtain set to rise on Eccles Theater 2024-25 season with old favorites and new twists

The old and the new, funny and bittersweet, the 2024-2025 Eccles season will bring musical productions for every age. And three more very popular shows return to the Eccles as "extras" for the season.

3 days ago

Beyoncé is pictured at the 2024 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Mandatory Credit:	Kevin Mazur/Getty ...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

Beyoncé debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and makes history

Beyoncé’s new song “Texas Hold ‘Em” debuted in the top spot of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart on Tuesday.

5 days ago

FILE - Portrait of British pop group The Beatles (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison (1943 - 2001...

Jake Coyle, AP Film Writer

Beatles to get a Fab Four of biopics, with a movie each for Paul, John, George and Ringo

The Beatles are getting the big-screen biopic treatment in a Fab Four of movies that will give each band member their own film.

5 days ago

Cillian Murphy, winner of the leading actor award for 'Oppenheimer', poses for photographers at the...

Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

‘Oppenheimer’ wins seven prizes, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards

Atom bomb epic “Oppenheimer” won seven prizes, including best picture, director and actor, at the 77th British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, cementing its front-runner status for the Oscars next month.

7 days ago

FILE - Paul McCartney performs during his "Got Back" tour on June 16, 2022, at MetLife Stadium in E...

Brian Melley, The Associated Press

Paul McCartney’s stolen bass is found and returned more than 50 years later

Paul McCartney no longer gently weeps for his original bass guitar. A five-year search by the manufacturer of the instrument that was aided by a husband-and-wife team of journalists helped reunite The Beatles star with the distinctive violin-shaped 1961 electric Höfner that went missing a half century ago and is estimated to be worth 10 million pounds ($12.6 million).

8 days ago

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: Frankie Muniz, driver of the #30 Hair Club Ford, waits on the...

Mark Long, AP Sports Writer

‘Malcolm in the Middle’ star Frankie Muniz back at Daytona and rising up the NASCAR racing ladder

Actor Frankie Muniz will try to make his Xfinity Series debut in the No. 35 Ford for Joey Gase Racing at Daytona International Speedway.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

‘Equalizer 3’ cleans up, while ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ score new records