Though “Avengers: Endgame” continues to steamroll across the globe, Lionsgate’s “John Wick 3” is taking a shot at the domestic box office crown.
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” the third installment of the gun-toting action franchise, is heading for an opening weekend between $30 million and $35 million from 3,700 North American theaters. Some box office watchers predict that positive word of mouth could propel those numbers north of $40 million. If ticket sales reach the higher part of that range, the Keanu Reeves-led thriller could have a solid chance at ending “Avengers: Endgame’s” three-week reign.
“Avengers: Endgame,” Marvel’s latest juggernaut that concludes the current phase of its sprawling comic-book universe, could collect around $27 million if it sees a decline similar to its past two outings. Ticket sales have dropped roughly 58% each weekend following its historic $357 million launch. Should “Avengers: Endgame” remain victorious in North America, it will be the first film since “Black Panther” to retain the top spot for four consecutive weeks. “Black Panther” was the No. 1 film at the domestic box office for five weeks in a row after debuting in February 2018.
“Avengers: Endgame” is currently the third-highest grossing movie of all time at the domestic box office, behind “Avatar” ($760 million) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($936 million). It’s still the second-biggest film ever globally with $2.48 billion, trailing behind “Avatar’s” $2.78 billion.
Unless “John Wick 3” underperforms, it looks to secure a franchise-best start ahead of “John Wick” ($14.4 million) and “John Wick: Chapter 2” ($30.4 million). The first two films earned a combined $260 million globally. The third entry also opens day-and-date in 65 international locations, including the United Kingdom and Mexico.
Reeves returns as John Wick, an ex-hitman who finds himself on the run from assassins after a hit is put on his head. Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski returned to helm the movie, written by series-creator Derek Kolstad. Halle Berry and Laurence Fishburne round out the cast.
“John Wick 3” will easily be the big winner among new releases when it opens alongside Universal and Amblin’s tearjerker “A Dog’s Journey” and Warner Bros. and MGM’s YA romance drama “The Sun Is Also a Star.”
“A Dog’s Journey,” the sequel to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose,” is expected to earn between $10 million and $14 million when it launches on 3,200 screens. “A Dog’s Purpose” debuted with $18 million and ended its domestic box office run with $64 million. The film became a hit overseas where it grossed $140 million, with $88 million coming from China. The follow-up centers on a dog named Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad), who finds his new purpose after meeting his owner’s granddaughter.
Warner Bros. is targeting a similar, though slightly older female audience with “The Sun Is Also a Star,” a teen drama based on Nicola Yoon’s novel. It’s anticipated to make $6 million to $12 million from 2,100 locations. “Grown-ish” actress Yara Shahidi stars as a brainy student who forms a relationship with a charming exchange student (“Riverdale’s” Charles Melton), as her family faces deportation.
Domestic box office receipts are pacing more than 9% behind last year, according to Comscore. As Memorial Day weekend, the official start to summer, nears, blockbuster-hopefuls like Disney’s “Aladdin,” Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and Paramount’s “Rocketman” hope to reverse the decline in ticket sales.