The Equalizer opened to a healthy $34.1 million at the end of September in 2014 and went on to gross $101.5 million domestic and another $90.8 million internationally. Its cost: $55 million. The Equalizer 2 tried the summer route at the end of July 2018. It opened to $36 million and finished with just over $102 million and $88 million internationally. How is that for equal? What wasn’t equal was its cost, which rose to $62 million. Both films were still marginally successful.
Now arrives The Equalizer 3 with a budget reported at $70 million and a four-day holiday haul of $42 million ($34.5 million estimated for the three-day). That is the second-best Labor Day weekend of all time, well behind Shang-Chi’s $94.6 million but decidedly ahead of Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween($30.5 million) — appropriate, as reviews have described Denzel’s Robert McCall as a cross between a justice-seeker and a serial slasher.