Box office: ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ sets new opening weekend record for Keanu Reeves action franchise

·5 min read

The month of March has already shown great success at the box office with two franchise sequel records. Keanu Reeves‘ “John Wick: Chapter 4” joined them this weekend, as the highest opening for the actor’s popular action franchise, which has done better with each new installment.

The action movie co-starring Bill Skarsgård, Ian McShaneLaurence Fishburne, the late Lance Reddick, Shamier Anderson, Donnie Yen, and Scott Adkins, came into the weekend with solid reviews, having had a high-profile premiere at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this month. The Lionsgate release opened with $29.4 million on Friday, including $8.9 million from Thursday previews, and ended up with an estimated $73.5 million in 3,855 theaters for the weekend, averaging over $19,000 per site, by far the best opening for the month.

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That’s compared to the $56.8 million opening for “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” in May 2019 and $30.4 million for “John Wick: Chapter 2” two years earlier. “Wick: Chapter 4” also received an “A” CinemaScore from audiences, up from the last two movies, which both received “A-” scores.

Overseas, Reeves’ well-received action sequel made another $64 million, giving the movie a global opening of $137 million, a great start for what should be a solid run for the actor’s latest.

Warner Bros’ “Shazam!: Fury of the Gods,” starring Zachary Levi, took a massive 68% plunge in its second weekend to take second place with $9.7 million for a total of $46.3 million grossed domestically, so far. With the $12.1 million it added overseas, “Shazam!” is up to $102.4 million globally, which isn’t great when you consider that Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” made more than that in its opening weekend alone, just domestically.

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Third and fourth place were pretty close, but “Scream VI” was down 52% this weekend with $8.4 million to take third place, bringing its domestic total to $89.9 million, which should allow it to cross the $100 million milestone sometime before Easter.

“Creed III” made just slightly less than $8.4 million, down 46% from last weekend, to take fourth place with $140.9 million grossed so far. Those two movies are close enough that their order might change based on Monday actuals.

Adam Driver‘s sci-fi thriller “65” took fifth place with $3.3 million, down 45%, bringing its running total to $27.8 million.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” dropped 43% from last weekend with an estimated $2.4 million, to take sixth place with $210 million grossed so far.

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It was followed in seventh by the comedy “Cocaine Bear,” which added another $2.1 million this weekend (down 47%) for a domestic total of $62.1 million. So far, that has grossed $80 million worldwide.

Zach Braff‘s drama “A Good Person,” starring Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman, was released moderately into 530 theaters by MGM on Friday, where it grossed just $834,000 or $1,574 per theater.

Director Stephen Frears‘ “The Lost King,” starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan, was released by IFC Films into 753 locations, where it grossed $575,000 or  $764 per theater.

“Tori and Lokita,” the latest film from Belgium’s Dardenne Brothers, was released into a single theater in New York and another one in L.A., where it made $15,600, averaging $7,800 per site.

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Most players of Gold Derby’s box office predictions game had “John Wick” winning the weekend, with slightly fewer expecting it to make $50 to $75 million over the weekend, and most also had “Shazam!” dropping to second place. Although estimates are close between “Scream” and “Creed,” most players had them taking third and fourth place as well. Fifth place will be a real decider, as only 59 players correctly guessed “65,” while 143 players went either with “Cocaine Bear” or “Ant-Man.”

46 players went six-for-six in the March 17 box office game but frequent board leader “Max” scored the most points – over 104,000! – by putting in early Super Bets on his fourth and fifth place predictions.

Next week sees the release of Paramount’s “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” as well as the Sundance award-winning “One Thousand and One,” so check back on Wednesday for Gold Derby’s weekend box office preview.

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