'Equalizer 2' Surprisingly Beats 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' at Box Office
Sony Pictures/Universal Pictures

With only $1.4 million more than the musical sequel, the Denzel Washington-starring thriller beats the 'Mamma Mia!' sequel which was initially predicted to be the new winner.

AceShowbiz - It's a tight battle of sequels in this weekend's box office. "The Equalizer 2" and "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again", which were both released on July 20, were in a neck-and-neck race for the top position at the domestic chart which was eventually won by the thriller movie.

The result was quite surprising as the musical sequel was initially predicted to be a new champion at the box office chart. But with an estimated $35.8 million on its first weekend, the Denzel Washington-starring movie managed to edge out previous winner "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" and block the "Mamma Mia!" sequel from placing first.

Receiving an "A" CinemaScore, "The Equalizer 2" drew audiences which consisted of 58% male viewers. Despite its decent opening, the movie will likely suffer a bit of a steep drop next week after "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" arrives on July 27. Overseas, the movie opened to $3.3 million in 11 markets.

Coming in second place with only $1.4 million behind "The Equalizer 2", the "Mamma Mia!" sequel brought in an estimated $34.4 million on its opening weekend. The movie looked as if it might top $40 million at one point over the weekend.

About 83 percent of its audiences were female and it wasn't surprising, since women were the musical's biggest target. It's expected to fare even better overseas, having collected $42.4 million after it opened in 42 international territories.

"What we're seeing is the same magic we saw with 'Mamma Mia!' 10 years ago. The filmmakers found a way to bring the original cast and music back to the big screen that felt fresh and unique, with some stellar young additions," said Duncan Clark, Universal's president of international distribution. "The audience reactions from this weekend have been quite amazing, and we believe this film will now play throughout the summer, especially among groups and repeat viewers."

Pushed to the third place, "Hotel Transylvania 3" added an estimated $23.2 million to its domestic haul. "Ant-Man and the Wasp" also drops two spots to No. 4 with approximately $16.1 million, while "Incredibles 2" only saw a small decline (29.2%) with an additional $11.5 million to its domestic gross.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for July 20-22:
  1. "The Equalizer 2" - $35.8 million
  2. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" - $34.4 million
  3. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" - $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" - $10.9 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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