- Sony’s “The Equalizer 2” won the weekend box office with $35.8 million.
- That’s a bigger opening than its 2014 original ($34.1 million).
- Universal’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” also had a strong opening weekend with $34.3 million.
Sequels continue to work like gangbusters this summer.
In a surprise outcome, Sony’s “The Equalizer 2” took in $35.8 million to win the weekend box office over “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”
The first-ever sequel that Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua made in their careers, the movie surpassed the 2014 original’s $34.1 million take. It was an impressive performance for a movie that had a 51% score on Rotten Tomatoes (the original had a 60% score).
But Fuqua did tell Business Insider that the sequel did better in test screenings than the original.
The performance by “Equalizer 2” also proves that sometimes star power can work. In a time when superheroes are more of a box office draw than superstars, Washington playing a vigilante seemed to be a draw.
Also performing better than expected was “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”
The sequel to the 2008 musical based on the hit Broadway show featuring the songs of ABBA took in an estimated $34.3 million.
That’s better than the first “Mamma Mia” ($27.7 million), and turned out to be the perfect movie night for audiences who needed a break from the action-heavy offerings already out, like “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
Though time will tell if Denzel’s “Equalizer” can match up to the other tough guy movies coming up, Universal may have the rare title this summer that could have legs for weeks to come.
With the movie’s big female following, the studio foresees “Here We Go Again” being a big girls night out option with guys’ movies like “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “The Meg,” and “Mile 22” opening soon.
But both of these movies doing better than expected is just the latest pleasant surprise this year’s summer movie season has given Hollywood.