Denzel’s ‘Equalizer 2’ Squeaks Past ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ In Debut Weekend

In this weekend’s sequel showdown between Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, a winner has been declared — but just barely.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Washington’s “The Equalizer 2” edged out Streep’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” at the box office in the weekend marking the debut of both films, with “The Equalizer 2” bringing in a domestic take of $35.8 million to top “Mamma Mia!”, which brought in an estimated $34.4 million.

While the opening-weekend box office for the long-awaited “Mamma Mia!” sequel are in line with projections, the success of “The Equalizer 2” is seen as a surprise, topping estimates to become the weekend’s #1 flick.

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Worldwide, however, the story is different. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” brought in $42.4 million internationally, opening in 43 markets, for a global total of $76.8 million; “The Equalizer 2”, however, opened in just 11 overseas markets, earning a relatively paltry $3.3 million to result in a worldwide total of $39.1 million.

Reps for studios of both films, however, are happy with the performance of their respective flicks.

“This opening speaks to the star power of Denzel Washington. And you can’t go wrong with the combination of Denzel and [director] Antoine Fuqua,” says Sony distribution chief Adrian Smith, who points out that “The Equalizer 2” is Fuqua’s highest domestic opening.

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Meanwhile, Universal domestic distribution president Jim Orr says of the “Mamma Mia!” sequel: “We consider it an outstanding opening. These kind of movies leg out like crazy.”

The top films at the domestic box office for the weekend of July 20-22 are:

1.”The Equalizer 2″ — $35.8 million
2. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” — $34.4 million
3. “Hotel Transylvania 3” — $23.2 million
4. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” — $16.1 million
5. “Incredibles 2” — $11.5 million
6. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” — $11 million
7. “Skyscraper” — $11 million
8. “The First Purge” — $5 million
9. “Unfriended: Dark Web” — $3.5 million
10. “Sorry to Bother You” — $2.8 million

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