Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection
Yes, we think he’s back. “John Wick: Chapter 4” is expected to stretch north of $70 million to a franchise-best opening weekend at the domestic box office.
Lionsgate’s action sequel got off to an impressive start with an opening day of $29.4 million from 3,855 locations, including $8.9 million in Thursday previews.
The “John Wick” series has achieved a steady growth that most modern Hollywood franchises can only envy, starting with a newly written storyline and continuing with serial entries that each prove to be greater than the last. The opening weekend gross of “Chapter 4” looks set to surpass the $56.8 million earned by the third entry in the series, 2019’s “Parabellum.”
First round box office returns aren’t the only numbers for the Keanu Reeves vehicle. “Chapter 4” received glowing praise from critics, receiving a 92% approval rating from top critics on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. The film received a franchise-best “A” grade from research firm CinemaScore, indicating strong enthusiasm among first-round ticket buyers.
As usual in blockbuster series, there is also a price. With a production budget of $100 million, “Chapter 4” is the most expensive “Vic” entry yet for producers Thunder Road and 87eleven Entertainment. But with the opening weekend already surpassing the original ratings and strong word-of-mouth buzz among fans, the coming weeks will be bright for “Vic.”
“John Wick: Chapter 4” sees Reeves return as the sinister assassin, hell-bent on freeing himself from the jurisdiction of the quasi-religious, all-powerful High Table. On his way are new enemies, faces from the past and a Frenchman with a penchant for torture. Series newcomers Tony Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Rina Sawayama and Scott Atkins join Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Reddick, who died earlier this month at the age of 60.
A franchise has gone in the opposite direction on the box office charts, with its sequel not matching its predecessor. Then “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” faltered in its opening weekend with less than $30 million, and the Warner Bros. and DC Studios film is now facing a more than 70% drop.
“Fury of the Gods” pushes its North American total to around $45 million after the weekend. That would still fall short of its 2019 predecessor’s $53 million opening weekend. The sequel is unlikely to match the previous entry’s $140 million domestic finish.
Paramount and Spyglass Media’s “Scream VI” finished second with “Fury of the Gods” finishing in first place. Self-titled slasher “Requel” has projected a $8.8 million gross in its third weekend, showing staying power with a 49% drop from its last outing. “Scream VI” has already surpassed its predecessor’s $81 million domestic finish; The sequel now has a good chance of crossing the $100 million mark.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “Creed III” is a “Shazam!” is in a tight race with And “Scream” is projecting about $8 million in ticket sales in its fourth weekend of release. Michael B. Jordan’s boxing drama looks set to push its domestic total to $140 million through Sunday.
Sony’s sci-fi dinosaur romp “65” rounded out the top five, with a projected $3.2 million weekend to bring its domestic total to more than $27 million.