The Equalizer 2 blasted its way to success at the weekend box office, surpassing expectations and lukewarm reviews to beat Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
In the showdown of sequels, The Equalizer 2 grabbed the top spot after taking in an estimated $35.8 million in North America compared to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s $34.3 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.
In the first sequel of his career, Denzel Washington reprises his role as retired CIA agent Robert McCall.
The first Equalizer, which opened in 2014, saw McCall taking on Russian mobsters. This time he goes to war with rogue government agents after they kill his best friend, played by Melissa Leo.
When McCall isn’t battling bad guys, he’s driving a Lyft, or trying to steer his teenage neighbor away from gang life.
Ashton Sanders co-stars as at-risk teen Miles Whittaker, who gets caught up in the cat-and-mouse game played by killers sent to “tie up loose ends” and take McCall out. Pedro Pascal and Bill Pullman co-star in the crime thriller.
Director Antoine Fuqua returns for The Equalizer 2, which beat the first film’s domestic debut by just over a million dollars. Sony Pictures’ The Equalizer 2 played in 3,388 theaters, earning an average $10,574 per location.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again comes in a close second after earning an average $10,365 at the 3,317 locations where it’s playing.
Most of the cast from the star-studded original movie-musical returned for the sequel, including Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters and Dominic Cooper. Cher and Lily James are newcomers to the franchise featuring ABBA songs.
Last week’s box-office champ, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, slips to third place with $23. 1 million.
Ant-Man and the Wasp takes fourth with $16.1 million, and Incredibles 2 rounds out the top five with $11.5 million.
Falling out of the top five this week – Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper, which continues to struggle and lands in seventh place – after Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – with $10.9 million.