‘Equalizer 3’ Scores Second-Biggest Labor Day Opening Weekend With $42 Million

“The Equalizer 3” is still on track to earn the second-biggest Labor Day opening weekend in history with an estimated $42.3 million.

While the holiday isn’t traditionally a box office draw, Denzel Washington’s assassin-thriller surpassed the previous Labor Day debut runner-up: Rob Zombie’s 2007 “Halloween” remake, which grossed $30 million through Monday. Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” still holds the Labor Day crown with a $94.6 million four-day opening in 2021.

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Nevertheless, “Equalizer 3’s” three-day domestic figure of $34.5 million is nearly the same as its predecessors. The 2015 original grossed $34 million in a traditional three-day frame, while the 2018 sequel scored $36 million. With a $70 million production budget co-financed by TSG and Eagle Pictures, Columbia Pictures’ “Equalizer 3” is targeting a similar performance by the end of its run. The third installment earned an “A” grade on CinemaScore and holds a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Speaking of box office milestones, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” overtook “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” as the highest-grossing worldwide release of the year with $1.38 billion. In its seventh weekend of release, the hot-pink comedy remained in second place at the domestic box office with $13.1 million over the four-day frame.

“Blue Beetle” landed at No. 3 spot in its third weekend of release, earning $9.2 million through Monday. Although the DC Studios’ comic book film is maintaining better grosses than this year’s “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle’s” $57 million in North American ticket sales will not likely justify its $104 million production budget.

Last weekend’s arguable victor “Gran Turismo” decelerated to fourth place with $8.5 million through the Labor Day holiday. Sony’s $60 million-budgeted racing drama has generated a domestic total of $30.6 million to date.

Universal’s “Oppenheimer” rounded out the top five with $7.5 million through Monday. Christopher Nolan’s historical epic crossed $850 million in global ticket sales, becoming the director’s third-highest grossing film of all time, behind “The Dark Knight” with $1 billion and “The Dark Knight Rises” ($1.08 billion).

Expanding this holiday weekend from 10 locations to 715, MGM’s “Bottoms” grossed $3.6 million in its second outing. Directed by “Shiva Baby” filmmaker Emma Seligman, the queer comedy earned $4.3 million after a week in limited release.

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