It’s weekends like these that remind me why I love the Box Office. Just when you thought ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’ would dance away with the number one spot, it was Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ that had the last laugh — earning $36m in its opening weekend, just $1m above ‘Mamma Mia 2’s $35m. ‘E2’, Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel, went into Saturday $1m below ‘MM2’ but had the benefit of not being as front-loaded, with Friday making up just 37% of its weekend gross (compared to ‘MM2’s 41%). This may be down to ‘MM2’s skewed opening audience (83% women) but nevertheless, it’s a solid start for both.
The opening of ‘E2’ marks Denzel Washington’s 3rd biggest ever, behind 2007s ‘American Gangster’ ($43.6m) and 2012s ‘Safe House’ ($40.2m); it’s also Antoine Fuqua’s biggest, beating another Denzel-collab, 2016s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ ($34.7m). Meanwhile, ‘MM2’s officially the third biggest musical opening of all time, just ahead of ‘Enchanted’ ($34.4m), and although the film probably won’t reach a 5.19x opening weekend multiplier like ‘MM’ did in 2008, a strong finish is still expected. The musical also opened to $42.4m overseas, including $13m from the U.K.
On a studio level, this marks a second consecutive weekend at the top for Sony, whose last double triumph was back in January, when ‘Jumanji 2’ brought in the new year at number one for three straight weeks. Looking forward to next weekend, Sony would be lucky to remain in the top 3, with the introduction of Tom Cruise’s ‘MI6: Fallout’ and DC animation, ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’.
On the topic of Sony, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ had the biggest 2nd week drop in the franchise, falling nearly 50% to post a $23.8m gross. It’s already made $208.1m worldwide since its release, marking a very prosperous few weeks for the company who’ve had a mixed year so far. In fourth place was ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ earning a solid $16.5m to leave it $15m shy (in just its 3rd weekend) of equalling the $180.2m domestic total made by ‘Ant-Man’ 3 years ago.
With the smallest drop of the weekend, ‘Incredibles 2’s $11.9m gross (a fall of just 27%) leaves it under $50m away from being the 3rd film of the year to reach $600m in the U.S., and just $60m away from making $1bn worldwide. The Rock’s ‘Skyscraper’ only just made it past ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, making $11.4m compared to ‘JW2’s $11.3m. Although the former was able to open in China to $47m (during the Chinese cinema’s Hollywood blackout period, too), this still won’t be enough to save it from being a flop.
Horror, ‘The First Purge’, produced no shocks, earning in-line with our expectations ($5.1m), while BH Tilt’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ grossed just $3.7m from 1,546 cinemas. Finally, Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ added nearly 250 cinemas to its roster, but couldn’t improve its total from last week, finishing with just $2.9m.