8 Reasons “The Equalizer 3” Turned Out to Be A $68M Success At the Box Office

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By Wanda

The Equalizer 3 enjoyed a successful opening weekend at the box office, reaffirming the franchise’s popularity. Denzel Washington‘s action movies in this series have consistently performed well, with the first two films posting similar worldwide totals. This strong track record raised expectations for the third installment, and it met those expectations, indicating that audiences remain engaged with the franchise.

The Equalizer 3 had an impressive opening weekend at the box office, with domestic earnings reaching $34.6 million over the traditional three-day weekend and $42.8 million for the extended four-day Labor Day weekend. The film also performed well internationally, adding $26 million from various territories, resulting in a global total of $68.9 million. While this may not match the numbers of some blockbuster films in 2023, it represents a solid start for The Equalizer 3 and positions it for further success. All parties involved are likely delighted with these results. Here are a few reasons why the movie turned out to be a huge success.

1. The Equalizer 3 matches the Box Office debut of the other Equalizer movies

The Equalizer 3 has achieved a box office performance on par with the first two films in the franchise. When considering the extended holiday weekend as its opening, it technically set a new franchise record for the highest opening. However, for a more meaningful comparison, it’s best to look at the traditional three-day weekend earnings. The original The Equalizer earned $34.1 million in its opening weekend, while The Equalizer 2 made $36 million four years later. The Equalizer 3 comfortably falls between these two, ranking in the middle for box office performance among the Equalizer movies.

2. The Equalizer 3’s good reviews aided in the success

Positive reviews undoubtedly played a significant role in the box office success of The Equalizer 3. The film received its best reviews in the franchise, with a 74% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a notable improvement from the 52% critics score of The Equalizer 2. Even the original The Equalizer had a mixed-to-positive 61% rating. These favorable reviews, especially when compared to initial projections of a franchise-worst opening weekend, appear to have generated excitement among audiences and contributed to the film’s success.

3. The Equalizer 3 secures the second-best Labor Day weekend debut in history

The Equalizer 3 had an outstanding box office opening, especially when compared to other films released during Labor Day weekend. It generated $42.8 million domestically from Friday to Monday, marking the second-best performance ever for the holiday weekend. The only movie it couldn’t surpass was the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which opened with a record-breaking $94 million. Denzel Washington‘s action sequel comfortably secures the second spot in the Labor Day weekend box office records, with 2007’s Halloween in third place with a $30 million opening.

4. The audience loved The Equalizer 3 more than the other movies

The Equalizer 3 owes part of its financial success to its strong audience reception. The film boasts an impressive 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the highest-rated installment in the franchise. In contrast, the original movie received a 77% audience score, while The Equalizer 2 had a less enthusiastic 61% rating. The overwhelmingly positive response to The Equalizer 3 directly correlates with its strong box office performance. As viewers continue to enjoy the movie, positive word of mouth is likely to catalyze its longevity at the box office, helping to compensate for Denzel Washington’s salary in the film.

5. The Equalizer 3 avoids the 2023 trend of bad sequels at the Box Office

The Equalizer 3 successfully avoided a concerning trend in the 2023 box office for sequels. Several high-profile sequels, such as Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Fast X, faced varying degrees of struggle at the box office. The strong performance of Denzel Washington‘s movie demonstrates that this franchise still holds the audience’s interest and has retained its core viewership. This achievement was not guaranteed, especially considering that many of the underperforming sequels in 2023 starred older lead actors in action roles.

6. Equalizer 3 is on the way to being the franchise’s highest-grossing movie

The Equalizer 3 is on track to become the highest-grossing film in the franchise, judging by its strong opening performance and comparing it to the previous movies’ earnings at the same point in their releases. After its first four days, The Equalizer 3 grossed $42.8 million, surpassing the $39.7 million earned by The Equalizer 2 and the $37.1 million earned by the original The Equalizer in the same timeframe. With the film already nearing the $100 million mark domestically, it has a good chance of exceeding its predecessor’s $102 million total and becoming the top-grossing installment in the franchise.

7. The Equalizer 3 success has summed up to its budget

The success of The Equalizer 3 can also be attributed to its ability to recoup its production costs. The film reportedly had a budget of $70 million, the highest in the franchise. Despite the potential risks associated with increasing budgets in 2023, the movie quickly earned back a substantial portion of its budget with a $68 million worldwide opening. This suggests that The Equalizer 3 is on track to become profitable, especially if audience interest remains strong. It is likely to break even at around $140 million worldwide and could turn a profit shortly thereafter. This positive financial outlook bodes well for the possibility of The Equalizer 4 in the future.

8. The Equalizer 3’s opening weekend is one of the most successful of Denzel Washington’s career

The Equalizer 3 is a significant success in comparison to Denzel Washington’s career. Its opening weekend ranks among the highest in his filmography. When considering the four-day weekend total, it technically stands as his second-largest opening ever, following American Gangster, which had a $43.5 million opening in 2007. Even when focusing on the traditional three-day weekend, the movie still performs exceptionally well. It ranks behind only a few other Denzel Washington movies, including Safe House which made $40 million, The Equalizer 2, and The Magnificent Seven which made $34.7 million. Notably, it surpasses The Book of Eli which made $32.7 million to secure a spot in his top five box office openings.