“John Wick” Takes Out the Competition


May 17-19, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


John Wick: Chapter 3  $57.0 million
Avengers: Endgame $29.4 million
Detective Pikachu $24.8 million
A Dog's Journey  $8.0 million
The Hustle  $6.0 million

John Wick leveled up once again. The first entry only managed $14 million, good for second place. Chapter 2 more than doubled that, but opened in third. But now he's the king. Chapter 3 almost double the opening of that, taking in an estimated $57 million for the biggest opening for the franchise yet. It's also more than the first film made in its entire run. That also gives Lionsgate its first No. 1 opening since 2017's The Hitman's Bodyguard, and their biggest opening not tied to a YA franchise (Twilight, The Hunger Games or Divergent). The film all but announces a Chapter 4. We'll see if that one can continue the series' upward trajectory.

Avengers: Endgame finally lost its perch atop the box office, but claimed some more records on its way down. It's now topped Avatar at the domestic box office for the No. 2 spot, and is less than $200 million away from topping it internationally, to become the highest-grossing movie worldwide. And it hasn't even been out a month yet. It's shedding more than 50 percent each weekend, so I think besting Star Wars: The Force Awakens is beyond its reach. But becoming only the second movie to earn more than $900 million isn't out of the question entirely.

Detective Pikachu slid to third, and it's looking more in line with Shazam! than a big time champion. Still, it will be the highest-grossing video game adaptation in less than two weeks' time. A Dog's Journey couldn't find its purpose, as the film earned about $10 million less than its predecessor. (It shouldn't be confused with A Dog's Way Home, which at least managed to open with $11 million.) The Hustle dropped to sixth place, and it's looking like its ceiling is $35 million. Not such a strong con after all.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Souvenir, the well-regarded gloomy relationship drama from British director Joanna Hogg. The Sundance winner stars Honor Swinton Byrne as a woman recalling a doomed romance. Tilda Swinton plays her mom in the film. It averaged $21,463 on each of its four screens.
  • The Sun Is Also a Star was extinguished before it even began. Taking in less than even some recent underperforming YA romance titles (Five Feet Apart, After, Every Day), it managed an atrocious $2.6 million.
  • Despite a huge opening, it's looking like Us will actually make less than Get Out. The creepy Jordan Peele horror flick won't match his Oscar-winning film by about $1.5 million.

Next week:

Hard to say what will happen with Disney's Aladdin. Their live-action remakes are always a sure bet to open No. 1, but almost all online buzz has been negative, though some early reactions from critics are fairly positive. So I'm betting Aladdin is this year's Solo: A big but underwhelming opening with some mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and audiences that finishes as one of the top 10 movies of the year, but just barely. So let's go $85 million for the four-day opening. I think Booksmart can manage a $10 million debut, but Brightburn is a little trickier. Horror is still hot, but will its sci-fi elements keep away the crowds that made the Conjuring franchise so huge? I'll say $16 million over the Memorial Day holiday, but it could be far less.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.