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Tick Tock, Mr. Wick. Fans of John definitely do not have him on the clock. They have shown that not only are they ready for each subsequent entry in the series that has upped its game in every outing, but they are bringing in new converts as well. From its humble beginnings as a moderately successful action film to sequels that have upped their grosses, profits, and international hauls, John Wick has proven to be one of those rare franchises like Mad Max and Mission: Impossible that only seem to be getting better as they go. Much like the bounty on Wick’s head, the numbers only continue to rise.
It all started in October 2014 with a modest $14.4 million. Chapter 2 in February 2017 netted $30.4 million in its opening weekend. Then Chapter 3 was moved into the summer season to grab $56.8 million in May 2019. Now, nearly four years later, John Wick: Chapter 4 has started with $73.5 million, which is the sixth-highest opening in Lionsgate’s history and the highest for any film outside of The Hunger Games and Twilight. (Chapter 3 is now seventh.) It is also the 12th best March opening of all time between 300 ($70.8 million) and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax ($70.2 million). Jordan Peele’s Us was the only film to open this month to over $70 million and not reach $200 million, so just how good are John Wick’s chances to reach that milestone?
Interestingly enough, only two live-action films have ever opened this month to over $40 million and emerged with a 3x multiple over their opening weekend, and they were Ready Player One and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. If these estimates hold, John Wick: Chapter 4 would only need a 2.72 multiple, but the only films to reach that number in March have mostly been family-friendly fantasy-based titles (2017’s Beauty and the Beast, Alice In Wonderland, Oz: The Great and Powerful), though Captain Marvel, The Batman, and Kong: Skull Island did so as well. Zack Snyder’s 300 is the only R-rated film with a $40+ million opening this month to achieve that number. But another thing the John Wick films have is consistency in this realm. No matter how big or how small the opening, their multiples are less than 0.5 apart – John Wick (2.98), John Wick: Chapter 2 (3.02), and John Wick: Chapter 3 (3.0099). That is pretty remarkable in its own right, and if the franchise maintains its word-of-mouth fandom, the fourth installment should be on track to cross $200 million. Adding another $64 million internationally, Chapter 4’s total is at $137 million, or about 41% of Chapter 3’s global total. Once it reaches $300 million worldwide, Wick will be in the black.
Remember last week when we suggested Shazam! Fury of the Gods still had an outside path to $100 million? Yeah, forget that. Instead, it has fallen nearly 68% from $30.1 million down to $9.7 million. It is the first March release ever to open to $30 million and then fall below $10 million in its second weekend. That brings Fury of the Gods’ total to only $46.3 million. Unless the film resets itself in the coming weeks, it may struggle to reach $65 million domestic. A $62-67 million estimate is where it lands today after an entire week of negative behind-the-scenes stories and contradictions that certainly did not help the film’s reputation. The film has just barely reached $100 million worldwide and is shaping up to be one of the biggest comic book losers ever. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania appears destined for the red as well, as it fell to $2.4 million this week and a total that is set to finish between $210-215 million and potentially below half-a-billion worldwide. That makes it about half the loser that Fury of the Gods is shaping up to be. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Flash can’t get here soon enough.
Scream VI is still on pace to be the highest-grossing film in the franchise, with another $8.4 million this week to drive its total to nearly $90 million. The film is falling around the same manner as 300: Rise of an Empire, which had an $8.5 million third weekend. However, the latter film’s total was at $93.5 million after 17 days, and Scream VI is at $90.3 million. If Scream can stay above $5 million next week, it could be headed for a total between $106-110 million. If it falls below that, it may be more along the lines of $103-106 million, which would be just enough to get it over the original’s $103 million total.
Doing even better is Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III, which fell 45% to $8.3 million, bringing its total to over $140 million. The film continues to fall off the pace of Kong: Skull Island, which had an $8.5 million fourth weekend and a 24-day total of $147.6 million. That film finished its run with $168 million, suggesting the third Creed may come up just shy of $160 million. With another $96+ million overseas the film has achieved profit and is just waiting the greenlight on a Creed IV.
Also continuing to add to its profit margin is Jesus Revolution, marking a pretty good weekend for Lionsgate. The faith-based true story made another $2 million in the collection plate to bring its total to $49 million. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water celebrated its 15th straight week in the top 10, bringing its total to over $680 million and officially taking the seventh slot all-time on the domestic chart.
On the negative side of the ledger, there’s Sony’s 65, which added another $3.2 million to bring its domestic total to $27.8 million and a worldwide total of over $44 million. It’s unlikely it will find the additional $90 million it will need to break even. Universal’s Cocaine Bear surpassed $60 million with another $2.1 million itself, but it is still about $26 million shy of turning a profit. Finally there is Bobby Farrelly’s Champions, which made $1.5 million bringing its total to just $13.5 million.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves arrives in theaters towing an 89% approval and a $151 million budget. It is going to take a lot more than the fans of the film from opening night of SXSW to turn this into a hit for Paramount. Will it have enough to dethrone John Wick as word-of-mouth takes hold? Will it have enough for Easter weekend when families are headed to The Super Mario Bros. Movie?
94% John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)
88% Creed III (2023)
49% Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)
76% Scream VI (2023)
35% 65 (2023)
46% Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
67% Cocaine Bear (2023)
58% Jesus Revolution (2023)
59% Champions (2023)
76% Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]
Thumbnail image by Murray Close/©Lionsgate