The No. 1 streak for “Avengers: Endgame” has been snapped — pun intended — by Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum,” which made $22.6 million on Friday from 3,850 screens and is now estimated for a strong $56 million opening weekend.
Not only would that result be nearly double the $30.4 million opening for “John Wick: Chapter 2,” it would also be the largest opening weekend for a Lionsgate release since the end of the “Hunger Games” series back in November 2015. The final film in the Jennifer Lawrence YA novel adaptation series, “Mockingjay — Part 2,” opened to $102 million.
As with the two preceding “John Wick” films, both critics and audiences have given “Chapter 3” strong marks with an 88% Rotten Tomatoes score and an A- on CinemaScore. Also, as expected for an acclaimed film starring Gen X action legend Keanu Reeves, the opening night audience was older and male with 64% being male and 83% over the age of 25.
While “Avengers: Endgame” won’t stay No. 1 for a fourth weekend, its $30 million weekend total will be enough for it to pass the domestic theatrical run of “Avatar,” which made $760 million in 2010. By the end of this weekend, “Endgame” is estimated to have a domestic total of $771 million, putting it only behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on the all-time domestic charts.
In third is Warner Bros.’ “Detective Pikachu,” which is seeing its potential adult audience get split off somewhat by “John Wick.” The “Pokemon” film is estimated to earn $22 million in its second weekend, a 59% drop from its $54.3 million opening.
In fourth is Universal’s “A Dog’s Journey,” which is falling below analysts’ expectations with an estimated $8.6 million opening from 3,267 screens. The film had been projected for at least a $10 million opening, and this result is well below the $18 million opening earned by the film’s 2017 predecessor, “A Dog’s Purpose.” While critics gave the film 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, family audiences were pleased with an A on CinemaScore.
Outside the top five is Warner Bros.’ “The Sun Is Also A Star,” which is also disappointing with just $1 million grossed on Friday from 2,073 screens and an estimate of just a $2.5 million opening. The romance has a B- CinemaScore and a 50% RT score.