Box Office: JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3 Surpasses Expectations with $57 Million Opening

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!
This week’s big new release was Lionsgate’s action-thriller John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, starring Keanu Reeves, which was the poster child for what most studios would want out of a franchise — increasing growth with each successive installment.
The original John Wick opened with just $14 million in 2014, while the sequel opened with $30 million three years later. Chapter 3 opened with an estimated $57 million, which is quite remarkable, as it once again nearly doubled the opening of the previous chapter.  Co-starring Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Mark Dacascos, the movie made $5.7 million in Thursday previews before officially opening in 3,850 theaters for the weekend. Its $22.5 million Friday (including the money from previews) was a good sign that Chapter 3 was going to exceed all expectations, and indeed it did.
John Wick Chapter 3 added another $35.2 million in its opening overseas in places like the United Kingdom ($4.6 million opening), Russia ($3.8 million), Australia ($2.8 million) and more. This means that the action movie has grossed $92.2 million globally, although there’s no reported production budget to know if it’s already profitable. With solid reviews and an “A-” CinemaScore, it’s very likely that we can see the planned Chapter 4 sooner rather than later.
The success of John Wick also meant that Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame would finally be knocked down to #2 this weekend with $29.4 million (down 54% from last weekend) but not before surpassing James Cameron’s Avatar to become the second highest-grossing movie in domestic history with $770.8 million. (Avatar drops to third with a still-impressive $760.5 million.) Domestically, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: the Force Awakens should be safe with its own $936.6 million total domestic gross.
Endgame added another $46.8 million internationally this weekend to bring its worldwide total to $2.6 billion, and it’s very close to becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time once it passes Avatar‘s $2.8 billion.
Likewise, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Pokémon: Detective Pikachu dropped to third place with an estimated $24.8 million, down 54% from its opening weekend, having grossed $94 million in ten days. It continues to do even better overseas, adding another $53.8 million this weekend to bring its global total to $287.4 million. ($70.3 million of that amount is from China alone.)
Universal Pictures’ PG sequel A Dog’s Journey failed to find nearly the success of the 2017 movie A Dog’s Purpose, opening with an estimated $8 million in 3,267 theaters to take fourth place. That’s about $10 million less than A Dog’s Purpose opened with two years ago and even less than the $11.2 million opening of the unrelated A Dog’s Way Home (from Sony) earlier this year. Despite scoring an “A” CinemaScore, A Dog’s Journey averaged a pitiful $2,449 per theater, and it’s doubtful it will fare better against the stronger family films to come.
The Anne Hathaway-Rebel Wilson comedy The Hustle  (United Artists Releasing) dropped to fifth place with $6.1 million, down 53% from Mother’s Day weekend, with a total of $23.1 million.
The Screen Gems thriller The Intruder and Seth Rogen comedy Long Shot from Lionsgate took sixth and seventh place with the smallest drops from last weekend, down 44% to $4 million and down 46% to $3.4 million respectively. The Intruder has grossed $28 million while Long Shot is at $25.7 million, which isn’t great but not bad for two of the first attempts of the summer at releasing movies based on original ideas rather than existing properties. (There will be two more next week.)
The third new release was Warner Bros. and MGM’s Y.A. romance The Sun is Also a Star, based on Nicola Yoon’s novel and starring television stars Yara Shahidi from grown-ish and Charles Melton from Riverdale. It bombed with an estimated $2.6 million in 2,073 theaters or $1,254 per theater, so yeah, add this one to the pile of summer duds. (Its own “B-” CinemaScore does not make it seem like the few audiences who saw the movie cared much for it.)
STXfilms had another bad weekend as both last week’s Poms and the previous week’s UglyDolls plummeted 61% to end up at the bottom of the top 10 with $2 million and $1.6 million respectively.

This Week’s Top 10:

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 New John Wick Chapter 3 Lionsgate $57 million N/A $57 million
2 1 Avengers: Endgame Marvel/Disney $29.4 million -53% $770.8 million
3 2 Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Warner Bros. $24.8 million -54% $94 million
4 New A Dog’s Journey Universal $8 million N/A $8 million
5 3 The Hustle U.A. Releasing $6.1 million -53% $23.1 million
6 4 The Intruder Screen Gems $4 million -44% $28.1 million
7 5 Long Shot Lionsgate $3.4 million -46% $25.7 million
8 New The Sun Is Also A Star Warner Bros. $2.6 million N/A $2.6 million
9 6 Poms STXfilms $2.1 million -61% $10 million
10 7 UglyDolls STXfilms $1.6 million -61% $17.2 million

The top 10 grossed an estimated $139 million which is down substantially from this weekend last year when 20th Century Fox and Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool 2 opened with $125.5 million on its own, knocking Avengers: Infinity War down to second place with $29.4 million. (Note that while Endgame opened with nearly $100 million more than Infinity War, it’s now level with Infinity War in their fourth weekends.) The Paramount comedy Book Club opened in third place with a strong $13.6 million, far better than this year’s attempt at targeting older women with Poms.
Check back on Wednesday for The Beat‘s Box Office Preview for Memorial Day weekend, which will include Will Smith as the Genie in the live action Aladdin and Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart.


  1. I’ve seen the first two John Wicks, and don’t need any more. I’m done with it, just like I’m done with the Avengers and Star Trek, and after “Rise of Skywalker,” I’ll be done with Star Wars.
    I’m holding out for something new and different, instead of this constant recycling of old IP.

  2. I saw JW3 on Friday, and loved it! Again, I was the only person in the cinema laughing at everything. But the Japanese samurai stuff (hilarious) through to the Matrix influence and references (I was the only person who was cackling up to and when Keanu said, ‘guns, lots of guns’, for instance), plus all of the great casting of genre actors down to even the cameos. And the horses… pretty great, takes me back to watching films in my student days.
    Watched JW1 again yesterday, and the template of it all is cometely present. Big reappraisal. Lots of fun

  3. Kaleb, a movie that reminds you of that many other movies should be criticized (for lack of originality) rather than praised.
    Just once, I’d like to see a multiplex movie that referenced, say, “The 400 Blows” rather than “The Matrix” and martial arts flicks. But I know that won’t happen.

  4. Not exactly fair, George. JW3 had three actors in it from the Matrix (who played Neo, the Key-maker, and Morpheus) and was directed by the stunt coordinator from the Matrix, Chad Stahelski. This is the band getting together for another Jam, rather than imitating/copying what’s done before. Gun-fu, they’re calling it. But I like the references that let you know that, yep, this is the same band, creating something.
    Bruce Lee did something in Game of Death. A comparison to a master in the structure of that storytelling is not bad. And they didn’t copy it, they grazed it, or touched somelike it, briefly. Same with Kill Bill. And then you’ve got the martial artists from The Raid, too. Awesome

  5. Thanks, Kyle. I may hold out for “The Dead Don’t Die” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Everything else looks like a rehash of something I’ve seen MANY times before.
    I’m not sure I’ll even see the new Godzilla movie. The draw, I suppose, is the chance to see the cheesy, cheap monster flicks of the past redone with state-of-the-art CGI. Just like kids saw those old movies in their heads.

  6. “Gun-fu, they’re calling it.”
    Wasn’t gun-fu perfected by John Woo more than 20 years ago? (See 1997’s “Face/Off,” if you don’t want to read subtitles.)

  7. I don’t want to read subtitles ?! (said someone I had to point out their xenophobia sonetime ago, I remember).
    Great point you have there, George, that JW3 is not part of the French New Wave, avant garde. I might remind you that Hiroshima Mon Amor and Le Samourai exist, which demonstrates the early fascination of French New Wave with East Asia – including Samurai movies. And it’s a bit more recent, but Irma Vep.
    I’ll go toe to toe with you Chinese, Swedish, French, modernist, postmodernist and whatever the hell else you like, George. Subtitles?! again, you resort to insulting people. For what?

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