So it wasn’t even close. The legend of John Wick only grew this weekend when it took the presumption of a tight battle for the top spot and turned it into a franchise growth that Lionsgate can be proud of. The Endgame crowd delivered a bit less than expected this weekend but with Wick’s foot firmly on the pedal this weekend, the Avengers never had a chance.
Since 2016, Lionsgate has only had two films open over $30 million (one of them being John Wick: Chapter Two) and another five open over $25 million. They also have not had a $100 million grosser since Wonder in 2017 and only had one movie (Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral) gross a total higher than what John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum made this weekend: $57 million and another $35 million internationally. Not bad for a film series with humble beginnings whose original film grossed all of $43 million domestic. JW3 is the second-highest 3-day opening of Keanu Reeves’ career. While The Matrix Reloaded is the highest with $91.7 million, the third chapter of that notable series (The Matrix Revolutions) opened on Wednesday and had $51.8 million in its first three days and a first weekend of $48.4 million. This is a success story all around for the actor, the studio and the filmmakers.
There is no other way to describe The Sun Is Also A Star’s numbers this week than rotten. Warner Bros. did not seem to do much for the film marketing-wise and only got the film released in 2,073 theaters. That is the lowest wide launch for the studio since 2012’s Cloud Atlas opened in 2,008 theaters. The $2.6 million estimate for Sun ranks down there with Almost Heroes ($2.83 million), Lucky You ($2.71), Grind ($2.51), The Adventures of Pluto Nash ($2.18), Major League: Back to the Minors ($2.08) and the Zac Efron DJ film, We Are Your Friends ($1.76) for WB lows on films opening in over 2,000 theaters.
So where is Avengers: Endgame after four weeks? At $770 million it is now officially the second-highest grossing film of all-time both domestically. Worldwide, it sits at $2.61 billion still chasing down Avatar’s $2.78 billion with just $173 million to go. However it has fallen off of The Force Awakens’ pace by $43 million and all of a sudden falling back to just the 11th best fourth weekend of all-time, it is pretty guaranteed at this point that J.J. Abrams’ film will remain the all-time domestic champion.
Pokemon Detective Pikachu finds itself on similar ground with Hotel Transylvania 3 which had $91.7 million after its second weekend of wide release. Adam Sandler’s animated sequel made $23.7 million that weekend while the Pikachu made $24.8 million and stands at $94 million. That suggests the $150 million production is headed somewhere around $167 million domestic. It has made $206 million worldwide to date.
The rest of the Top Ten is a sad place. Not just with dogs dying over and over in A Dog’s Journey, but the numbers for the sequel are just not up to Universal’s expectations. They had a surprise little hit with A Dog’s Purpose which opened to $18.2 million in January 2017 and finished with $64.5 million domestic and $205 million worldwide. Journey opened to just $8 million and is going to have to stretch hard to reach $30 million. Maybe even $25 million. And it just gets more depressing from there. Any movie making more than the Certified Fresh bomb Long Shot on this list has been critically reviled, like STX’s double failure of UglyDolls ($17.2 million/30%) and Poms ($10 million/32%). And for the third straight week The Intruder ($28 million/29%) managed to beat the Charlize Theron/Seth Rogen comedy. Looks as if The Hustle ($23.1 million/15%) is going to outgross it too.
Audiences substituted one group of superheroes for another when Deadpool 2 took over the top spot from the Avengers with a $125.5 million start. Avengers: Infinity War fell to second place and was just short of $600 million. Book Club started much better than Poms did last week, opening in third with $13.5 million. Finally, the controversial family film, Show Dogs, opened to just $6 million and was later edited to remove its offensive take on consent. The Top Ten films grossed an impressive $200.4 million but they averaged a dismal 50.4% on the Tomatometer. This year’s Top Ten grossed an estimated $131.8 million and averaged 53.4%.
Disney hopes to avoid another Memorial Day disappointment with their second live-action remake of 2019 with Aladdin. Can Will Smith replace the memory of Robin Williams or will the film go the way of Dumbo? Meanwhile, James Gunn is producing the bizarro Superman tale, Brightburn, a horror film about an intergalactic child using his powers for evil. Finally there is Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, which drew raves at SXSW this year (still a perfect 100% on the Tomatometer). But can the already struggling United Artists Releasing partnership between Annapurna, MGM and Orion successfully get the word out or will this be doomed to discovery after it leaves theaters?
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]