The box office has a new king and his name is John Wick. The third installment of the hyper violent Keanu Reeves franchise has taken the top spot at the North American box office and ended the three-week reign of Avengers: Endgame.
Studios on Sunday say John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum has grossed an estimated 57 million dollars in its opening weekend. Not only did it far exceed expectations, it’s a franchise best that nearly doubled the opening of the second film, which itself doubled the opening of the first film from 2014.
The audience, in other words, is growing exponentially for this series about a talented assassin who never seems to get a break. This time, there’s a 14 million dollar price tag on his head.
Men made up the majority (63 of the John Wick 3 opening weekend crowd. Overall audiences gave the film a rare A+ CinemaScore, indicating that word-of-mouth will be strong in subsequent weekends. According to Comscore’s PostTrak audience survey, 70% said they would “definitely recommend” to their friends and 21% said they would see it again in theaters).
“This is the best-reviewed film of the series so far,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “We believe word-of-mouth will continue to drive strong business for the film all over the world.”
Internationally John Wick 3 earned 35.2 million dollars from 66 territories.
Avengers: Endgame slid to second place in its fourth weekend with 29.4 million dollars. Domestically, where the film has grossed 711 million dollars, it’s now second only to Star Wars: The Force Awakens (937 million dollars) and globally, with 2.6 billion dollars, it’s still second to Avatar (2.8 billion dollars).
In its second weekend, Pokémon Detective Pikachu also continued to do well, placing third with 24.8 million dollars. But with the high-performing trifecta of John Wick, the Avengers and Pikachu, there weren’t very many moviegoers left over for the less flashy newcomers like A Dog’s Journey and The Sun Is Also a Star.
“The marketplace was so dominated by John Wick,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “It’s tough when one movie overperforms by this kind of magnitude.”
Amblin Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment’s A Dog’s Journey opened in fourth with an underwhelming 8 million dollars. The Universal-distributed film is a sequel to the 2017 hit A Dog’s Purpose. But unlike John Wick, the audience for this sequel was less than half of that for the first, which opened to 18.2 million dollars. But audiences who did turn out gave it an A CinemaScore, which could point toward long-term playability.
Most disappointing, however, is the young adult adaptation The Sun Is Also a Star which grossed only 2.6 million dollars from over 2,000 screens and landed in eighth place. Although modestly budgeted at a reported 9 million dollars, and featuring popular television actors such as Riverdale’s Charles Melton and Grown-ish’s Yara Shahidi, the Warner Bros.-released film failed to connect even with the audiences who turned out, 75% of whom were women. It got a poor B- CinemaScore.
It’s a far cry from the days of The Fault in Our Stars 48 million dollars debut in 2014, and even the last film based on a Nicola Yoon novel, Everything, Everything, which opened to over 11 million dollars in 2017.
“As unpredictable and fickle as young adults are, so are the performances of films that target that audience,” Dergarabedian said.
In limited release, Joanna Hogg’s well-reviewed relationship drama The Souvenir did well with 85,851 dollars from four screens.
Even with the success of John Wick, the weekend itself was down about 31% and the year to date is still down around 9%, but, Dergarabedian said that this is the calm before the storm. In the next few weekends theaters will see an influx of could-be hits such as Rocketman, Aladdin and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday
- John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, 57 million dollars (35.2 million dollars international).
- Avengers: Engame, 29.4 million dollars (46.8 million dollars international).
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu, 24.8 million dollars (53.8 million dollars international).
- A Dog’s Journey, 8 million dollars (13.9 million dollars international).
- The Hustle, 6.1 million dollars (9.5 million dollars international).
- The Intruder, 4 million dollars.
- Long Shot, 3.4 million dollars (1.8 million dollars international).
- The Sun Is Also a Star, 2.6 million dollars (484,000 dollars international).
- Poms, 2.1 million dollars (396,000 dollars international).
- Uglydolls, 1.6 million dollars (3.1 million dollars international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to Comscore:
- Pokémon Detective Pikachu, 53.8 million dollars.
- Avengers: Endgame, 46.8 million dollars.
- John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, 35.2 million dollars.
- A Dog’s Journey, (13.9 million dollars international).
- The Hustle, 9.5 million dollars.
- The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, 9.4 million dollars.
- Capernaum, 3.5 million dollars.
- Miss Mrs. Cops, 3.1 million dollars.
- Uglydolls, 3.1 million dollars.
- Twin, 2.9 million dollars.