It was a spectacular weekend for ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum’, with the latest in the popular action franchise opening to unprecedented $56.8m in the U.S. Box Office. It becomes the 4th biggest opening so far in 2019 – a year that continues to both shock and surprise Box Office followers. Of course, it wasn’t all great news for the new entrants, as both ‘A Dog’s Journey’ and ‘The Sun Is Also a Star’ flopped on release, with a combined gross of just $10.5m.
How did the new releases get on?
This weekend was all about ‘John Wick 3’, which opened to a franchise-best $56.8m – nearly doubling the opening of ‘John Wick 2’ ($30.4m, which itself doubled ‘John Wick’s $14.4m from 2014). After just 3 days of release, it’s already surpassed the entire domestic total of ‘John Wick’ ($43m), and should become the biggest grossing film in the franchise by next Friday.
‘John Wick 3’, starring Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, and Laurence Fishburne, finds John Wick needing to escape the clutches of several hitmen, chasing the $14m bounty on his head. Audiences as well as critics were enthralled by the film, handing it an A- on Cinemascore.
This should ideally offset the inevitable front-loaded run we expect for the film, with forecasts leaving the film ending on a strong $150m-ish finish – a great total from a $55m budget. The film’s opening also marks studio Lionsgate’s biggest ever original opening, and sits only behind the openings of ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ films.
While ‘John Wick 3’ shone, family-drama ‘A Dog’s Journey’, and young-adult book-adaptation ‘The Sun Is Also a Star’ couldn’t turn it on in the Box Office, with both earning well under the pre-weekend forecasts. ‘A Dog’s Journey’, the sequel to ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ from 2017 which saw an $18.2m opening, could only take in $8m in a weekend where it faced off against strong competition from ‘Detective Pikachu’s 2nd outing.
It was even worse for Warner Bros’ ‘The Sun Is Also A Star’. The drama brought in just $2.5m, a poor start for a film that cost $9m to produce. Starring Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton, the film follows the struggle of a young couple in love, with one of their families facing deportation.
How did the others do?
‘Detective Pikachu’ struggled to live up to our lofty expectations, but still earned a solid $24.8m this weekend for a 3rd place finish. Remarkably, the film’s run mirrors another popular Warner Bros film in ‘Shazam!’ from earlier this year, with both on a running total of $94m at the same point. While ‘Shazam’s $100m budget perhaps let it off the hook, ‘Detective Pikachu’ will need to end on a domestic total greater than ‘Shazam’s $140m to justify its $150m expenditure.