With San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, most genre fans were tuned in to find out the latest scoops and trailers and not headed to the theater, not that there was much for them to see. It was an extremely slow weekend box office with the #1 movie taking in only $35.8 million, and that movie was ‘The Equalizer 2’ starring Denzel Washington, from Sony, who didn’t expect this movie to open with more than $30M. (Industry estimates placed it in the $20s.) Not only does this put the sequel higher in its opening weekend than the first, but Sony now has two back-to-back #1 openings, following last weekend’s ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’. This is the first ever sequel for Washington (!) and it has a great A CinemaScore, better than the first movie’s A-. Critics disagree. It only has a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sony domestic distribution boss Adrian Smith praised Washington, saying:
“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.”
Until Sunday morning, it looked as though ‘The Equalizer 2’ was going to be bested by Universal’s ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’, but the action flick picked up speed on Saturday night and drove its tally past that of the female-targeted musical. ‘Equalizer 2”s audience was 58% male and 42% female, with males over 25 making up 40% of the audience and females over 25 comprising 28%. On the flip side, ‘Mamma Mia”s audience was 82% female and 64% over 25. They loved it, giving it an A- CinemaScore and critics were more impressed with this one than ‘Equalizer 2’, landing it at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Social media analysts Relish Mix reported:
“For a summer that’s light on musicals and fun comedy romps, this sequel has found its audience. Fans of the original film love that there’s a part two. They’re calling out their favorite characters – which is a diverse and evenly spread list – and the fact that pop icon Cher is added to the mix. Fans are also calling out the exotic and vacation-esque locale, the songs, and even (YouTube stars) the Merrell Twins as reason they’ve seen the clips and plan to go see it in theaters.”
It’s predicted that ‘Mamma Mia 2’ will have long legs with some comparing it to last winter’s ‘The Greatest Showman’, a musical that didn’t get great reviews, never hit #1, yet kept going like the Enegizer Bunny, hovering in the Top Ten for a couple of months.
That’s about it, honestly. Here’s the Top Five:
- The Equalizer 2 (Sony) – $35.8M
- Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal) – $34.3M
- Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Sony) – $23.1M
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (Disney) – $16.1M
- The Incredibles 2 (Disney) – $11.5M
There is one last big summer movie on its way next weekend, ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’. Three years ago, ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ dominated the late summer-early fall box office and it’s very likely the same thing could happen this year.
‘Teen Titans GO! To The Movies’ is also opening and may be a last ditch to gain the family audience, but with back-to-school looming, it’s possible that families are more focused on that than more summer entertainment.