*Umm, er, remember our story from yesterday about Denzel’s “Equalizer 2” taking a back seat to Cher’s Mamma Mia” at the box office? Well, guess what? Today’s a different day and the situation is reversed! That means The Equalizer, er, Mr. Denzel Washington is in the driver’s seat and is undoubtedly the people’s choice with a tally of almost $36 million … so far.
Here’s the update via Deadline:
With chart In a box office defeat that no one anticipated, Denzel Washington’s first sequel ever, Equalizer 2, stole most of the No. 1 money away from Universal’s Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, $35.8M to $34.4M. Even more for Sony to relish is that Equalizer 2 beat its first chapter’s $34.1M opening plus it’s the second back-to-back No. 1 opening for Sony this summer after last weekend’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.
Mamma Mia 2 also improved upon its first installment’s $27.7M start by 24%. For director Antoinie Fuqua, Equalizer 2 reps the highest opening of his career besting The Magnificent Seven ($34.7M). For Washington, the sequel is his third best domestic start after American Gangster ($43.5M) and Safe House ($40.1M). While Mamma Mia 2 came in toward the high end of its tracking, Equalizer 2 wildly outperformed its mid $20Ms expectations.
“This definitely points to the star power of Denzel Washington and his character of Robert McCall. People really loved the first movie and Denzel appeals both to male and female audiences. He is a bankable star” said Sony domestic distribution boss Adrian Smith about the success of Equalizer 2 this weekend.
What happened? Essentially, Equalizer 2 had a bigger Saturday night at $12.8M, -5% from Friday, versus Mamma Mia 2 which posted $11M, -23%. Pic’s final demos on PostTrak were 58% male, 42% female with men over 25 repping 40% of all moviegoers and women over 25 turning out at 28%. Leading demos were Caucasians at 38%, African Americans at 31%, and Hispanic at 22%.
The Deadline report also says “Sorry to Bother You,” in its third weekend, has expanded from 805 to 1,050 runs with a three-day of $2.8M, -33% for a running total of $10.2M.
That total is currently pacing 65% ahead of Ryan Coogler’s July 2013 breakout movie Fruitvale Station in its third weekend, which finaled at $16.1M. Saturday was +41% over Friday with $1.1M. Top markets for the Boots Riley movie include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, Denver, Portland, Ore; Raleigh, Baltimore, San Diego, Nashville and Austin. Grosses are strong in the northeast and western regions.
Get full story of this weekend’s box office action at Deadline.