It’s a relatively slow week for new releases, as is usually the case between the transition with the summer & fall movie season. While some later releases will likely change, this weekend saw Denzel Washington return for one last time as Robert McCall in Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer 3, which grossed $34.5 million domestically and over $68.1 million total on a budget of $70 million. Washington was not allowed to promote the movie due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, but the film’s box office managed to make as much as the first two movies. It’s also the second highest-grossing movie released on Labor Day weekend in history, reaffirming Washington’s status as one of the biggest and most profitable movie stars.
No other movies were released this weekend except an expansion of Emma Seligman’s Bottoms, which went from thirteenth to seventh place, grossing over $3.0 million. The film has had one of the strongest buzzes of the Winter/Spring festival season and was released in New York and Los Angeles last week. Because of such a strong response from a wider audience, the movie will now expand to 1,200 theaters as of next week. We should expect a stronger tally for this one, but it’ll have fierce competition in The Nun II and Jawan next weekend.
Barbie still holds strong in second place, with a $10.6 million tally, while Oppenheimer fell to fifth place at $5.5 million. Barbie will probably hold far longer than initially envisioned when IMAX re-releases the film on September 22. The next few weeks should be relatively quiet, even if tons of movies will get released in September.
However, the next big theatrical event came on by surprise this week and raised many theater-chain stocks with the announcement of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour coming to IMAX theaters nationwide on October 13, causing The Exorcist: Believer to move to October 6. Pre-sales have crashed AMC websites and are the biggest seen since Avengers: Endgame. I never expected this move to happen so soon (it was bound to make its way to theaters eventually), and Taylor Swift saving cinemas during a tumultuous time was not on my bingo card. And since IMAX tickets aren’t as expensive as an actual one, you may or may not see me in the audience next month…
Here is the full list of the top ten films of the weekend:
- The Equalizer 3 (Sony): $34.5M – 3,965 theatres
- Barbie (Warner Bros): $10.6M (-29.7%) – 3,586 theatres
- Blue Beetle (Warner Bros/DC): $7.2M (-40.2%) – 3,316 theatres
- Gran Turismo (Sony): $6.5M (-62.4%) – 3,856 theatres
- Oppenheimer (Universal): $5.5M (-32.9%) – 2,543 theatres
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Paramount): $4.7M (-34.5%) – 2,955 theatres
- Bottoms (Amazon Studios): $3.0M (+552.2%) – 715 theatres
- Meg 2: The Trench (Warner Bros): $2.9M (-38.8%) – 2,371 theatres
- Strays (Universal): $2.5M (-48.9%) – 2,486 theatres
- Talk to Me (A24): $1.7M (-22.9%) – 1,075 theatres
Source: Box Office Mojo