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411 Box Office Report: John Wick: Chapter 4 Soars With $73 Million Start

March 26, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Keanu Reeves John Wick: Chapter 4 Image Credit: Lionsgate

John Wick: Chapter 4 took center stage at the box office this weekend, as the film opened huge to claim the top spot. The fourth entry in the Keanu Reeves-led franchise took the #1 position with ease as it grossed $73.5 million in its debut. That’s an overperformance for a film that was targeting $65 million to $70 million coming into the weekend, and represents a record with ease for the franchise.

The action franchise now stands as one of just five that have increased their box office grosses with each new entry. Chapter 4 grossed more in its first day plus Thursday previews ($38.3 million) than either of the first two films did in their full opening weekends. The Chad Stahalski-directed film is also the biggest opening for an R-rated film since theaters reopened following the pandemic lockdown, beating Halloween Kills’ $49.4 million start in 2021 with ease.

The reason for the big start is pretty simple: people love this franchise. John Wick is the action franchise that came out of nowhere and has become bigger and bigger based on strong audience appreciation and critical buzz. That didn’t change for Chapter 4, which saw sky-high fan anticipation and largely delivered for them. The film has the best reviews for the franchise yet at a 93% Rotten Tomatoes aggregate critic score, and word of mouth was fantastic with an A CinemaScore and a 95% audience RT rating (both franchise highs). That meant great holds throughout the weekend.

The film also scored big numbers overseas, where it got off to a $64 million start in 71 territories which is up 73% from John Wick: Chapter 3’s start. That gives the film a $137.5 million worldwide opening, already almost double the entire gross of the first film and coming up fast on Chapter 2’s $171.3 million total worldwide gross. Chapter 4 was easily the most expensive film in the franchise at a reported $100 million, but it should not have any difficulty making that back. The franchise has been able to gross about three times its opening weekends on average, and even if this chapter is more frontloaded it should be able to top $175 million without difficulty in the US. Add in the international numbers and this will be a big win for Lionsgate.

It was much less positive news over at Warner Bros., as Shazam: Fury Of the Gods followed up its disappointing start last weekend with a hefty fall. The DC sequel took in $9.7 million in its sophomore frame, down a rough 68% from its opening weekend. That’s one of the biggest drops for a DCEU film, on par with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (69%) and The Suicide Squad (71%) – and the latter had a simultaneous HBO Max release to blame.

Fury of the Gods is now pretty sure to be a money loser for Warner Bros. The film has grossed $46.3 million domestically and $102.4 million worldwide, not good against a $125 million budget. It seems pretty unlikely to get too far above $70 million domestically at this rate, making it a loser as the DCEU closes out to make way for James Gunn’s new vision.

Scream VI was off 52% in its third weekend, totaling $8.4 million. The slasher sequel’s totals are now at $89.9 million domestically and $139.3 million worldwide, putting it ahead of the 2022 Scream’s domestic and worldwide totals. It is still on par to become the highest domestic-grossing film in the franchise, with $100 million-plus, and is a hit against a $35 million budget.

Creed III was down 46% in its fourth weekend, grossing $8.4 million. The Michael B. Jordan-directed film now has $140.9 million domestically and $245.9 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing Creed or Rocky film. The movie is looking at a likely $160 million domestic total, very profitable against a $75 million production budget plus marketing.

65 continues to limp along, as it grossed $3.3 million in its third weekend (down 44%). The sci-fi action film has cobbled together $27.8 million domestically and $49 million worldwide, not good numbers against a $45 million budget. It should end its run with around $36 million or so domestically.

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania was down 43% in its sixth weekend with $2.4 million. The MCU film has totaled $209.9 million domestically and $467 million worldwide, and will be somewhat profitable though not exactly a hit. A $220 million domestic total remains the likely final number.

Cocaine Bear slipped 47% in its fifth weekend to $2.1 million. The action comedy has now grossed $62.1 million domestically and $81.8 million worldwide, a nice little money maker for Universal against a $30 million budget. The film is on course for about $67 million by the end of its stateside run.

Jesus Revolution was down 43% in its fifth weekend with $2 million. The faith-based drama has now grossed $49 million against a $15 million budget, obviously a hit, and should end its run around $55 million domestically.

Champions dropped 50% in its third weekend to bring in $1.5 million. The sports comedy has grossed $13.6 million domestically and $15.1 million worldwide. No word on its budget yet, but it should end its run in the US at around $17 million.

Avatar: The Way Of Water’s clung to a spot in the top 10, down 33% in its 15th weekend with $1.4 million. The sci-fi blockbuster is up to $680.1 million domestically and $2.305 billion worldwide. It, it goes without saying, a massive hit and should close out around $684 million domestically.

Next weekend will see John Wick: Chapter 4 do battle with fantasy heroes as Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves enters the arena. The movie based off the tabletop roleplaying game is targeting $30 million-plus.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. John Wick: Chapter 4 – $73.5 million ($73.5 million total, $137.54 million WW)
2. Shazam: Fury Of The Gods – $9.7 million ($46.3 million total, $102.4 million WW)
3. Scream VI – $8.4 million ($89.9 million total, $139.3 million WW)
4. Creed III – $8.4 million ($140.9 million total, $245.9 million WW)
5. 65 – $3.3 million ($27.8 million total, $49 million WW)
6. Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania – $2.4 million ($209.9 million total, $467 million WW)
7. Cocaine Bear – $2.1 million ($62.1 million total, $81.8 million WW)
8. Jesus Revolution – $2 million ($49 million total, $49 million WW)
9. Champions – $1.5 million total ($13.6 million total, $15.1 million WW)
10. Avatar: The Way Of Water – $1.4 million ($680.4 million total, $2.305 billion WW)