Denzel Washington stars in The Equalizer, Lily James in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Published in BBC, July 23rd, 2018
When it was released on Friday, Mamma Mia 2 was all set to be the biggest film of the weekend, if not the summer.
But a spanner has been thrown in the works at the US box office, in the shape of Denzel Washington.
The Equalizer 2, the follow-up to the 2014 original, raced past Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again to claim the top spot.
The action sequel took an estimated $35.8m (£27.2m), inching past Mamma Mia’s $34.4m (£26.1m).
But these weren’t the only two sequels in town.
No fewer than eight of the top 10 films over the weekend were follow-ups, confirming that summer truly is sequel season for cinema.
See if you can spot the two odd ones out below:
Weekend box office – US
- The Equalizer 2- $35.8 (£27.2m)
- Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – $34.4m (£26.1m)
- Hotel Transylvania 3 – $23.2m (£17.6m)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp – $16.1m (£12.2m)
- Incredibles 2 – $11.5m (£8.74m)
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – $11m (£8.36m)
- Skyscraper – $10.96m (£8.3m)
- The First Purge – $5m (£3.8m)
- Unfriended: Dark Web – $3.5m (£2.7m)
- Sorry to Bother You – $2.8m (£2.1m)
Well done if you said Skyscraper and Sorry To Bother You were the only films not to be part of a franchise.
Mamma Mia coming in second place is by no means a failure – the film opened in line with expectations.
Instead, the surprise was the success of The Equalizer 2 – with analysts putting it down to an ethnically diverse audience and keen interest among men.
“It was a surprise to come in at number one in an extremely competitive marketplace,” Adrian Smith, Sony’s head of domestic distribution, told Variety.
“It really speaks to the power of Denzel, without a doubt.”
Its success came in spite of a lukewarm response from critics, one of whom described the film as having a “plot that reads like middle-aged male fantasy”.