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‘Equalizer,’ ‘Mamma Mia’ Sequels Head Toward $30 Million Domestic Openings

Sony’s “The Equalizer 2” and Universal’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” are heading for solid North American launches in the $27 million to $33 million range for the July 20-22 weekend, early tracking showed Thursday.

The Equalizer 2” is a thriller starring Denzel Washington as retired CIA operative Robert McCall, who decides to punish the perpetrators of the murder of a longtime friend. It’s the first sequel in Washington’s movie career, which dates back to 1981. Antoine Fuqua has returned to direct with Ashton Sanders, Pedro Pascal, Melissa Leo, and Bill Pullman also starring.

“The Equalizer” opened four years ago during the Sept. 26-28 weekend with $34.2 million domestically and wound up with $101 million in North America and $192 million worldwide. The movie was based on the 1980s CBS series of the same name.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is launching a decade after the original musical romantic comedy with Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, and Dominic Cooper reprising their roles. Set on a Greek island with plenty of music again from ABBA, the story launches with Seyfried’s character, Sophie, pregnant and running her mother’s villa.

The original 2008 movie was a surprise blockbuster, grossing more than $600 million worldwide. “Mamma Mia!” opened with $27.8 million on July 18-20, 2008, against $158.4 million from “The Dark Knight,” and ended up with $144 million domestically.

Paramount will open “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” on July 27 as the sixth installment in the Tom Cruise franchise. The five previous films have grossed a combined $2.78 billion worldwide.

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