Box Office: Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer 3’ Targets $35 Million-Plus Debut Over Labor Day Weekend

Denzel Washington’s assassin thriller “The Equalizer 3” is gunning for the top spot on box office charts over Labor Day weekend. The R-rated film is projected to earn $28 million to $30 million between Friday and Sunday and $33 million to $40 million through the four-day holiday frame.

As this weekend’s only new nationwide release, “Equalizer 3” shouldn’t have any trouble in knocking down the prior box office champion, Sony’s racing drama “Gran Turismo,” which opened to $17.4 million and looks to add $7 million to $9 million in its sophomore outing.

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In other notable box office milestones, “Barbie” ($1.34 billion) will soon overtake “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.35 billion) as the highest-grossing worldwide release of the year. And Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” ($778 million) is imminently crossing the $800 million mark globally, a remarkable result for most films, but especially a three-hour historical drama. Viva Barbenheimer!

“Equalizer 3,” which was co-financed by Sony, TSG and Eagle Pictures, cost $70 million. It’s targeting the softest start of the trilogy; 2014’s “The Equalizer” debuted to $34 million and 2018’s “The Equalizer 2” debuted to $36 million. Each of those films managed to surpass $100 million at the domestic box office and nearly $200 million globally.

Antoine Fuqua returned to direct the third and final film in the series, which picks up as Washington’s Robert McCall moves to Southern Italy to escape his past as a government assassin. But he later discovers his new friends are under control of a local crime boss, forcing him to take on the Sicilian Mafia to protect his people. “Equalizer 3” has received mixed reviews, though its 64% on Rotten Tomatoes is around the same as its predecessors.

In Variety’s review, critic Murtada Elfadl praised Washington’s performance, writing that “beyond the righteous action and visceral violence, it’s Washington’s swagger and charisma that compels.”

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