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Monday, May 20, 2019

Box Office: 'John Wick' Dethrones 'Avengers: Endgame' With $57M Opening


Meanwhile, Amblin's 'A Dog's Journey' dug up $8 million and the YA adaptation 'The Sun Is Also a Star' disappointed with a $2 million bow.


After three weekends at the top of the domestic box office, Avengers: Endgame's reign has come to an end, thanks to a retired hitman.

Lionsgate's John Wick: Chapter Three — Parabellum had a huge debut weekend, earning $57.2 million stateside in 3,850 theaters, beating out Endgame's $29.4 million domestic earnings.

Parabellum's larger-than-anticipated bow outperformed the opening weekends of the franchise's first two installments — 2014's John Wick ($14.4 million) and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2 ($30.4 million).

Keanu Reeves returns in Parabellum as the formerly retired hit man who finds himself stripped of the protection from a shadowy international assassins guild. Now stuck with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through the streets of New York as he becomes the target of the world's most ruthless killers. Franchise newcomers Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston join in on the fight.

The well-reviewed action-thriller was once again helmed by stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski. The movie currently sits at an 88 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a Metacritic score of 73 and an A- CinemaScore. The audience was largely male, with a 64-36 percent gender split, while 65 percent of the audience was under 35 and 60 percent falling between 18 to 34.

Internationally, Parabellum earned $35.2 million from 66 international markets, led by $4.6 million in ticket sales in the U.K. and $3.8 million in Russia.


Endgame took in its $29.4 million from 4,220 domestic locations, as well as $46.8 million in international markets. The Marvel title's cumulative box office currently sits at $2.614 billion, still trailing all-time box office earner Avatar's $2.788 billion. Domestically, the franchise installment hit the $771 million mark, passing Avatar's $761 million. Endgame now holds the No. 2 all-time stateside spot behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($937 million).
Also opening over the weekend was Amblin Entertainment and Universal's A Dog's Purpose sequel, A Dog's Journey. The family film dug up $8 million on 3,267 screens stateside.

A Dog’s Journey sees the return of beloved family dog Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad), who comforts and protects his owner as he is reincarnated time and time again. Directed by Gail Mancuso, the movie is based on the best-selling novel by W. Bruce Cameron and stars Dennis Quaid and franchise newcomers Betty Gilpin and Kathryn Prescott.

The follow-up has earned middling reviews, with a 55 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was better received by audiences, with an A CinemaScore.   

Given its opening weekend, A Dog's Journey will not be the same box office hit that its predecessor, A Dog's Purpose, proved to be. The 2017 original picked up $18 million in its opening weekend and went on to earn $64 million stateside and a massive $140 million at the international box office, $88 million of which was from the Chinese box office. 

The weekend's third new offering, the teen love story The Sun Is Also a Star, disappointed in its box office debut on 2,073 screens with $2.6 million in ticket sales. Toplined by Yara Shahidi and Riverdale actor Charles Melton, Ry Russo-Young directed Sun Is Also a Star, which is based on the Nicola Yoon novel of the same name. The tale centers on Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley (Shahidi) as she meets the romantic Daniel Bae (Melton), who convinces her to spend the day traveling through New York City.

The MGM and Warner Bros. title currently sits at 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B- CinemaScore. As expected, Sun Is Also a Star played to largely young female audiences, with women making up 75 percent and the largest age demo under 18 years old (31 percent).

MGM and Warner Bros. found success in their last YA adaptation, 2017's Everything, Everything (also written by Yoon), which grossed $11 million in its opening weekend. Another recent teen romance release, Five Feet Apart, earned $13.2 million its March bow.

Holding over from its debut last weekend is Legendary and Warner Bros.' Detective Pikachu, with $24.8 million in domestic ticket sales, bringing its gross to $94 million to date.

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