'The Equalizer 3' c Sony Pictures 2

Source: Sony Pictures

‘The Equalizer 3’

Rank Film (distributor) Three-day gross (Sep 1-3) Total gross to date                            Week
 1. The Equalizer 3 (Sony)                    
£2m £2.8m 1
 2. Barbie (Warner Bros)  £1.6m £92.6m 7
 3. Oppenheimer (Universal)  £960,300 £55.4m 7
 4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Paramount)  £619,000 £9.2m 5
 5. Sound Of Freedom (Angel Studios) £589,456 £759,684 1

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has finally lost its place after standing strong atop the UK-Ireland box office chart for six weekends, with Antoine Fuqua’s Denzel Washington starrer The Equalizer 3 racing to the number one spot in its opening weekend, taking just shy of £2m.

This came amid a busy weekend at the box office, as the UK enjoyed National Cinema Day, in which tickets were discounted to at least £3 across 630 cinemas. It generated £4.65m at the box office from nearly 1.56 million admissions on Saturday (a 6% increase on last year). Family holdover titles such as Disney’s animation Elemental, Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie enjoyed particular uplift this weekend.

Sony’s The Equalizer 3 is based on a 1980s TV series of the same name, and stars Dakota Fanning alongside Washington as a US government assassin who has tried to leave his job behind him and relocate to southern Italy for a quiet life, with little success.

It played at 583 locations, for a site average of £3,368. With previews, the total takings soar to £2.8m. The first film in the franchise opened to £1.9m in September 2014, while the sequel opened similarly, to just below £2m in August 2018.

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie took £1.6m in its seventh weekend for Warner Bros, a 16% drop on its previous session, taking its total up to £92.6m. It is now comfortably ranked above 2019’s Avengers: Endgame (£88.7m) to be the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in the territory, but has not quite hit the £94m mark of 2009’s Avatar to claim sixth place.

Universal’s Christopher Nolan epic Oppenheimer, also on its seventh weekend, has widened its gap with Barbie, bringing in £960,300, a 41% drop on its previous session. Its total is now £55.4m.

Paramount grossed £619,000 for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in its fifth weekend – a 29% boost on its previous session, for a total now of £9.2m. The title took £419,000 on Saturday alone, a 131% increase on the previous Saturday’s takings – a nice result from National Cinema Day.

It was a strong start for Sound Of Freedom, taking £589,456 for Angel Studios from 528 locations in its opening weekend, averaging £1,116. This figure rises to £759,684 with previews.

Sound Of Freedom is a biographical story and religious thriller, directed by Alejandro Monteverde and starring The Passion Of The Christ’s Jim Caviezel, about a government agent-turned-vigilante who aims to rescue children from sex traffickers. It has utilised a Pay It Forward mechanism, that allows people who have seen it and/or are passionate about the issue to purchase a ticket for anyone who may not be able to afford one themselves.

The film has brought in $195.5m in global box office takings from 28 territories, and attracted some controversy along the way, owing to it being championed by conspiracists from the far-right QAnon movement – a link that Monteverde denies.

Holdover boosts

Disney family animation Elemental added £559,150 in its ninth weekend, up an impressive 64% on its previous session, with Saturday’s National Cinema Day takings particularly strong, up 199% on the previous Saturday. Its total is now £17.9m.

Warner Bros saw The Meg 2: The Trench add £534,419 in its fifth weekend, totalling £12.5m, while its stablemate Blue Beetle added £495,307 in its third weekend, for a total of just under £4m.

Disney’s Haunted Mansion took £394,094 in its fourth weekend, creeping up by 4% on its previous weekend’s takings, for a total of £4m.

Lionsgate horror, Samuel Bodin’s Cobweb, took £302,885 in its opening weekend from 355 cinemas, for an average of £853. With £22,887 in previews, its total is £325,772.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One brought in £256,000 on its eighth weekend, down 31% on its seventh, for a cumulative figure of £26m.

In its third weekend, Universal’s Strays added £122,439 to its total, a 63% drop on its previous session. It has now grossed £1.7m.

In its 22nd weekend at the UK-Ireland box office, The Super Mario Bros. Movie made a comeback with £70,173, a 330% hike on its previous session. This is owing to Saturday’s National Cinema Day, in which it grossed £65,887, a 999% increase on its previous Saturday. 

Universal’s The Blackening added £65,212 in its second weekend, for an overall figure of £630,364, down 73%.

Gran Turismo added £120,682 for Sony, reaching a £2.7m total. 

Moviegoers Entertainment’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani added £90,847 to its total, which now stands at £2.2m. It is now the eighth highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in the territory, and 11th in all markets outside of India, grossing $20m worldwide.

A new release, Mubi’s Sundance hit, Ira Sachs’ Passages, took £74,763 from 101 cinemas this weekend, for a site average of £740. Including previews, its overall figure stands at £105,760.

In re-releases, Jurassic Park took £293,297 this weekend for Park Circus, from 467 sites, with more yet to open. The site average was £628. Disney celebrated its 100th anniversary with a re-release of 1953’s Peter Pan, which took £94,000 from 660 locations across the weekend, averaging £142. Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story, re-released by BFI Film Distribution, grossed £8,716 from 10 sites, averaging £872.

Lars von Trier’s Melancholia returned to select arthouse cinemas this weekend as part of Curzon’s season of Lars von Trier films, taking £2,932 from 13 locations for a site average of £226. Plus previews, its total is £5,292. Curzon’s season has grossed £27,531 since launch on August 4.

Charlotte Regan’s Scrapper scooped up a further £68,080 in its second weekend for Picturehouse, a 30% drop on its debut session, with a lifetime total of £378,050, and on track to pass £400,000 by the end of its second week.

Horror Talk To Me took £64,057 in its sixth weekend for Altitude, for a total of £2.4m.

In its second weekend, Disney’s Theater Camp took £44,429, dropping 65% on its previous session, taking its total up to £330,158.

Anime Ltd opened Takehiko Inoue’s The First Slam Dunk to £47,327 from 160 sites to a £296 location average. Plus previews, the total shoots up to £111,805.

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny’s 10th weekend added £41,670 for Disney, down 21% on its previous weekend, for a total of £20.2m.

The Paul Robinson-directed screen adaptation of Bea Roberts’ play, And Then Come The Nightjars, played on 55 screens for Munro Films, taking £4,508, with an average of £82. With previews, the total stands at £7,868.

Vertigo Releasing opened George Kane’s Galway Film Fleadh winner, anarchic comedy Apocalypse Clown, to £905 from three sites, for an average of £302. This figure is plumped up to a £2,253 total, including £1,348 from a preview.

Further new releases this weekend included Bobi Wine: The People’s President for Dogwoof; Klokkenluider for MusicFilmNetwork; Maigret for Miracle/Dazzler; and Mercy Falls for Magic Monkey Films.