Box Office: ‘Equalizer 3’ Tops Labor Day Weekend, ‘Barbie’ Is Biggest Film of 2023

The box office has seen a surge of success, bringing it to $4 billion for the first time since 2019, thanks in large part to the Barbenheimer trend and some low-key MVPs holding the fort domestically like Sound of Freedom, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and The Little Mermaid. Simultaneously, there were some bombastic efforts from The Flash and Indiana Jones 5 trying to rope in audiences due to their IP, but folks didn’t seem attracted to another mediocre DC outing or another sequel for an IP that capped itself off fifteen years ago. The writers’ strikes don’t appear to interfere with much else in the canon for the remainder of the calendar year, yet that could be Hollywood’s point of regret come 2024 (see the delay of Dune: Part Two, Kraven the Hunter, and the Ghostbusters sequel).

In the meantime, we’ll relish with what results are on deck. Barbie has finally won the gold for the 2023 box office year, passing Mario to earn $1.38 billion. With impressive legs, remaining in the top two for seven weeks straight, and a flamboyant pop culture passion permeating the atmosphere guarantees it should be sailing toward $1.5 billion. Its pop culture counterpart, Oppenheimer, has topped $850 million, passing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to earn the bronze for the 2023 year. We’d be salivating had it been in the contention to reach $1 billion, but that may not appear to be the case as September warms up to more horror flicks that usually carry us till the Thanksgiving season. The Nun II, Saw X, The Exorcist: Believer, and Five Nights at Freddy’s will take advantage of the demographics and cost Nolan’s biopic the chances. But, if overseas can be more encouraging, we’ll stay relatively optimistic. That being mentioned, Nolan still has a prized possession and a legitimate threat for the Oscars race come next year.

So, Denzel Washington made a pretty nice payday for the Labor Day weekend, most likely going for $40 million domestically through Monday. The Equalizer 3 may not get to Shang-Chi‘s $94.6 million Labor Day record-holding number, but it’ll take a commendable second place this holiday weekend. With $26 million overseas, it currently sits at $68 million globally. Compared to its predecessor, it should have enough to reach $100 million domestically and $175-200 million worldwide for a decent profit. Had Washington promoted this trilogy capper a bit more, we could’ve seen a high opening, but remaining consistent is a valuable token.

Gran Turismo dipped 62% in its second weekend, bringing in $6.55 million for $28.66 million domestically. With $80 million worldwide, it should be past $100 million later this week and should be able to cap off around $130 million. Blue Beetle has had more mediocre results by only netting $56.57 million domestically and $101.8 million globally on a $104 million budget. Good reviews can’t seem to budge against the nary sense of superhero fatigue, which needs a definitive break after strong-arming high-budgeted films with ludicrous executions this year.

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem passed $150 million worldwide, Meg 2: The Trench is passing Indiana Jones 5‘s entire global gross as it nears $400 million worldwide, and Elemental got a shot of adrenaline with more theaters that it could inch closer to $500 million overall.

Next weekend sees the release of The Nun II, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

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