The Equalizer 2 narrowly won the box office this weekend, topping the debut of its predecessor in the process. Up until this point, Denzel Washington was one of the few big names in Hollywood without a franchise to his name. That all changed when The Equalizer opened in 2014 and earned mostly positive reviews and $192.3 million worldwide against a budget of $55 million. Much like Liam Neeson in the Taken movies, there was an inherent appeal watching the older Washington mow through enemies in an action flick.
Even with Washington reuniting with trusted collaborator Antoine Fuqua again, Equalizer 2 was seen by many as a case of diminishing returns. Since word-of-mouth wasn't as strong as before, it was worth wondering if that would have any impact on the box office - especially with Mama Mia! Here We Go Again doing well with critics. Fortunately for Sony, The Equalizer property is as strong as ever.
Per Box Office Mojo, The Equalizer 2 grossed $35.8 million in its first three days. That figure is slightly higher than the original's opening haul of $34.1 million, unadjusted for inflation. Equalizer came out on top in a tight race for the #1 position, as Mama Mia! earned $34.3 million.
While this is a strong start for Equalizer 2, it may not have the strongest legs commercially. Next week sees the release of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, an action movie that is receiving considerably more favorable reviews and is expected to be one of the biggest hits of the summer. Though Fallout is rated PG-13 (compared to Equalizer's R), the Tom Cruise vehicle should take away most of the business from Washington's film. However, if Equalizer's time at the top of the charts is short, it wouldn't be the most devastating turn of events. The first film slid down to third in its second weekend, trailing Gone Girl and Annabelle. Equalizer 2 could end up being profitable, considering its budget was a cost-effective $62 million. Once the international figures start coming in, the movie should be in solid shape.
Elsewhere in the top five, last week's champ Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation came in third with $23.1 million to raise its domestic total to $91 million. Ant-Man and the Wasp continued its uphill climb at the box office, coming in fourth with $16.1 million. It's now earned $164.6 million in the U.S. and remains as one of the lowest-grossing MCU movies. Incredibles 2 was in fifth with $11.5 million and now stands at $557.3 million domestically.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- The Equalizer 2 (2018) release date: Jul 20, 2018