Denzel’s Big Return: Will ‘The Equalizer 3’ Box Office Match Its High Stakes?

The Equalizer 3: Denzel Washington Returns in a High-Stakes Threequel

Denzel Washington, an actor with decades of iconic roles under his belt, is back in the third installment of a franchise he’s come to personify. In The Equalizer 3, Washington reprises his role as Robert McCall, the once U.S. Marine now facing off against the mafia in Southern Italy. Remarkably, despite Washington’s extensive filmography, this is the only franchise he has helmed.

The Reviews: A Mixed Bag

Not all sequels are met with glowing reviews, and The Equalizer 3 is no exception. Critics have had a diverse range of opinions. GamesRadar’s succinct commentary captures the essence of this divide, stating, “Denzel Washington is compelling in Robert McCall’s swan song, but the story often falls flat.” Yet, with a Rotten Tomatoes score surpassing that of The Equalizer 2 and more audacious action sequences, this threequel might still draw crowds. Washington’s inability to promote the film could pose a challenge, but the sheer force of the on-screen action might just level the playing field.

The Magic Number: Budget vs. Earnings

Let’s talk numbers. The Equalizer 3 comes with a hefty price tag of $70 million, as reported by Variety. Interestingly, this figure remains consistent with the franchise’s history. Both predecessors, The Equalizer and The Equalizer 2, were produced on similar budgets and raked in a neat $190 million each. It’s a commendable feat by Sony, especially considering how budgets typically swell with sequels, reflecting grander action set-pieces and steeper actor paychecks.

To be deemed successful, industry insiders often use a basic metric: a film must garner 2.5 times its production budget. By this standard, for Sony to break even and claim victory, The Equalizer 3 needs to pocket at least $175 million. But with box office projections for its opening weekend hovering between $28-30 million, success is not guaranteed.

For perspective, the original Equalizer earned $34 million during its debut, with its sequel slightly outpacing it at $36 million. There’s a silver lining, though. Thanks to the extended four-day labor weekend, The Equalizer 3 might surprise pundits by amassing up to $40 million. It may not set new franchise records, but it’s likely to maintain the series’ impressive consistency.

What the R-Rating Means for The Equalizer 3

While an R-rating by the MPAA can restrict a movie’s demographic, it might be the series’ secret weapon. Such a rating tantalizes audiences with promises of unbridled, over-the-top violence – a promise that The Equalizer 3 doesn’t shy away from fulfilling.

As the curtains rise and the box office tallies begin, only time will tell if Denzel Washington’s latest venture can match or even surpass the triumphs of its forerunners.