This summer at the box office has been one filled with sequels, and this week's Top 10 illustrates that quite intensely. Not only was this a weekend with three new sequels in wide release - with Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer 2 taking the top spot - but it's worth recognizing that all but two of the titles are follow-up stories. Check out the chart below, and join me after for analysis.
The Equalizer 2 is actually the first sequel that Denzel Washington has ever made, and if comparing the numbers to its predecessor is the ultimate mark of success, then we can say the new film did... fine. Its predecessor, which Antoine Fuqua also directed, made $34.1 million in its first three days when it came out in the fall of 2014, and the new movie only did slightly better. That being said, the film does deserve a bit of extra credit given the summer release date and the crazy amount of competition in play. It's not a spectacular amount of money (let's not forget that the new record was set in late April), but it's a solid start, and like the last movie it has a chance to make over $100 million domestically.
The chances of the film finding legs as the rest of the season plays out are actually fairly good too. Again, there are still plenty of big movies left to come out (one of the most exciting arriving this Friday), but The Equalizer 2 is on good footing. It didn't an overwhelming amount of critical approval, mostly inspiring middling reviews, but audiences are apparently really digging it. The first Equalizer only got an "A-" CinemaScore from audiences, but the sequel managed to go up half a grade and land an "A." That kind of positivity could wind up creating some nice word of mouth buzz - but then again you always do have to consider that the people seeing a film the first week are also those who are likely most excited for it.
What's actually kind of nice about this weekend's box office results is that the love is very much spread around. While The Equalizer 2 gets most of the attention for grabbing the number one position, we can't ignore than Ol Parker's Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! only made about $1.5 million less during its domestic debut. Once again it's a minor step up from the performance of the original, which was released the same weekend ten years ago and made $27 million, so it can be called a win. The movie has inspired some positive reactions from both audiences and critics, and could wind up making a good chunk of cash. That being said, there are probably fewer eyes on the domestic performance, given that more than 76 percent of the first movie's earnings (totalling $609.8 million) came from foreign markets.
Impressively seven films managed to make over $10 million this weekend - but sadly we do have to recognize a serious disappointment. Unlike Equalizer and Mamma Mia 2, the new Unfriended: Dark Web fell way short of matching the earnings of the original Unfriended ($15.8 million back in April 2015). Being a Blumhouse production that is entirely set across a series of screens, the film surely cost an incredibly little amount of money to make, but still this has to be seen in a negative light. Blumhouse is regularly trying to establish different franchises, and this one clearly isn't going anywhere.
As hinted at above, we do have an exciting week of new releases ahead of us, as the box office will witness a head to head matchup of Christopher McQuarrie's phenomenal Mission: Impossible - Fallout and the much-buzzed animated Teen Titans Go! To The Movies. They are both titles that should shake things up in a big way, so join me again next Sunday to see how the Top 10 shifts.