Denzel Washington powers The Equalizer 3 to second biggest Labor Day opening weekend of all time

Denzel Washington powers The Equalizer 3 to second biggest Labor Day opening weekend of all time

Veteran movie stars are proving they still got it when it comes to box office drawing power. Oscar-winner and your favorite actor's favorite actor Denzel Washington topped the box office this Labor Day weekend with The Equalizer 3, making $34.5 million from Friday to Sunday, per Comscore.

Including Labor Day, Sony anticipates a four-day haul of $42 million, making the third entry in the Equalizer franchise the second-highest Labor Day opening weekend of all time.


Stefano Montesi/Sony Denzel Washington in 'The Equalizer 3'

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is still the undisputed Labor Day champ with $94.6 million as its four-day total, but this holiday is typically not known as a big box office weekend, like, say, a Memorial Day or Christmas.

Still, with a solid reception from critics and audiences alike, The Equalizer 3 proves Washington's A-list bona fides at a time when other stars of his caliber are struggling. Take for instance this summer's previous franchise follow-ups from fellow Big Stars Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones 4) and Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible 7), which both wandered into flop territory.

Internationally, The Equalizer 3 brought in $26.1 million through Sunday, for a three-day global take of $60.6 million.

Reuniting Man on Fire stars Washington and Dakota Fanning, the third outing in the Antoine Fuqua-directed franchise finds ex-CIA operative Robert McCall (Washington) in Italy, tangling with the Mafia and getting down to the bloody business of equalizing.

"I believe this would be it. We've both talked about it that way. But you never know!" Fuqua said of doing a fourth film, adding that it's ultimately up to Washington. "Obviously, if he wanted to do another one, I would as well, but I don't see it. But who knows?"

In second place at the box office, the Barbie train keeps on a-rollin'. Now in its 7th week of release, the Greta Gerwig blockbuster will bring in a projected $13.8 million over the holiday weekend, bringing its cumulative total to $612.7 million domestically.

At $1.38 billion, Barbie is now officially the highest-grossing movie of 2023, surpassing The Super Mario Bros. Movie's $1.36 billion global gross (having previously bested its domestic haul two weeks ago). The pinked-out phenom is also Warner Bros.' highest-grossing movie in its entire 100-year history.


Warner Bros. Pictures Margot Robbie in 'Barbie'

Blue Beetle is still buzzing in its third week of release, bringing in a projected $9.4 million through Monday, for a domestic cume of $58.8 million ($101.9 million globally, through Sunday).

Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story hit the skids in just its second week of release, dropping to fourth place after barely snatching the top spot last week. The racing flick sputtered to a projected $8.5 million through Monday, for a total of $30.6 million domestically ($79 million globally).

And rounding out the top 5, Oppenheimer grossed a projected $7.2 million over the four-day weekend, and after seven weeks in theaters will sit at an impressive $310.3 million by Monday.

Internationally, the WWII film held at No. 2, earning $49.7 million through Sunday, for a worldwide gross of $851.3 million — surpassing Inception to make this director Christopher Nolan's third biggest-grossing film behind The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight.

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