‘John Wick 3’ dethrones ‘Endgame’ with a $57 million debut

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‘John Wick 3’ dethrones ‘Endgame’ with a $57 million debut

LOS ANGELES - The box office has a new king and his name is John Wick. The third installment of the hyperviolent 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 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.

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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 price tag on his head.

Men made up the majority (63 percent) 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 PostTrack audience survey, 70 percent said they would “definitely recommend” to their friends and 21 percent 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 from 66 territories.

“Avengers: Endgame” slid to second place in its fourth weekend with $29.4 million. Domestically, where the film has grossed $711 million, it’s now second only to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($937 million) and globally, with $2.6 billion, it’s still second to “Avatar” ($2.8 billion).

In its second weekend, “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” also continued to do well, placing third with $24.8 million. 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 over performs by this kind of magnitude.”

Amblin Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment’s “A Dog’s Journey” opened in fourth with an underwhelming $8 million.

Most disappointing, however, is the young adult adaptation “The Sun Is Also a Star” which grossed only $2.6 million from over 2,000 screens and landed in eighth place. Although modestly budgeted at a reported $9 million 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 percent of whom were women. It got a poor B- CinemaScore.

“As unpredictable and fickle as young adults are, so are the performances of films that target that audience,” Dergarabedian said.

Even with the success of “John Wick,” the weekend itself was down about 31 percent and the year to date is still down around 9 percent, 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.”

AP
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