John Wick slashes way to box-office crown

•LOS ANGELES • Earth's Mightiest Heroes put up a good fight, but John Wick put an end to the three-week box-office reign of Avengers: Endgame.

Propelled by positive reviews, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum beat expectations with a debut of US$57 million (S$78.4 million) from 3,850 North American locations. That was enough to nab the box-office crown from Endgame, Marvel's latest juggernaut, which collected US$29.4 million during its fourth weekend of release.

Parabellum, the third instalment of the action franchise, opened well above its predecessors - 2014's John Wick (US$14.4 million) and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2 (US$30.4 million). It also hit a franchise record overseas, bowing with US$35 million from 66 international markets for a global start of US$92 million.

In Parabellum, Keanu Reeves returns as the titular former hitman who finds himself on the run from assassins. Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski helms the movie written by series creator Derek Kolstad. Halle Berry and Laurence Fisburne also star in it.

John Wick 3 is a much-needed win for Lionsgate.

Despite the modest successes of comedy A Madea Family Funeral and romantic drama Five Feet Apart this year, the studio suffered a string of disappointments with last year's big-budget reboot of Robin Hood starring Taron Egerton; a Hellboy remake (2019); and, most recently, Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron's comedy Long Shot.

Endgame, which slid to second place on domestic box-office charts, has now earned US$771 million in North America. It officially passed Avatar (2009) and its US$761-million haul to become the second-highest grossing movie at the North American box office, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), with US$937 million.


Endgame hit US$2.6 billion in ticket sales worldwide, inching towards Avatar and its US$2.78 billion global box-office record.

John Wick 3 opened alongside Universal and Amblin's comedy-drama A Dog's Journey and Warner Bros and MGM's romance drama The Sun Is Also A Star.

A Dog's Journey arrived below expectations, launching at No. 4 with US$8 million from 3,200 venues. It opened with US$15.46 million in 14 foreign markets, bringing its global debut to US$23.46 million.

The weekend's final new wide release, The Sun Is Also A Star, collapsed with a disappointing US$2.6 million from 2,073 theatres.

Another Warner Bros title, Detective Pikachu, came in third place, adding US$24.8 million during its second weekend in theatres. The Pokemon adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds has generated US$94 million in North America.

Rounding out the top five is United Artist Releasing's The Hustle, pocketing US$6 million over the three-day frame. Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway co-star in the comedy, which has made US$23 million to date.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline 'John Wick slashes way to box-office crown'. Print Edition | Subscribe