‘John Wick 4’ Racks Up $8.9 Million at Thursday Box Office

Lionsgate’s action film is on course for a franchise opening weekend record


Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 4” has burst into theaters guns blazing, earning a very strong $8.9 million opening on Thursday, topping the $5.9 million earned by “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” in May 2019.

While Lionsgate has already begun a steady increase in theatrically exclusive releases with films like Kingdom Story Company’s “Jesus Revolution,” “John Wick: Chapter 4” is set to become the studio’s highest opening weekend not just within the Keanu Reeves franchise, but for any film since the end of the “Hunger Games” series in 2015. Lionsgate is projecting an opening weekend of at least $65 million, with independent tracking expecting an opening of at least $70 million.

After a Thursday gross like this, an $80 million-plus opening is now in the realm of possibility. The previous installment earned around 9.4x its respective Thursday number over its Fri-Sun opening frame, a pattern for which “Wick 4” would end the weekend with $84 million.

While it is presumed that this latest installment will be more frontloaded due to upfront demand and a slight COVID-era push toward Thursday moviegoing for the biggest fans, the Keanu Reeves-starring action runs a whopping 165 minutes, meaning moviegoers who otherwise might have opted for the first night may instead wait until the traditional weekend to take in a showing.

Even if the film plays like a conventionally frontloaded franchise sequel, think around 12% to 15% of its weekend gross as of last night, “John Wick: Chapter 4” would still earn between $60 million and $74 million by Sunday night.

Buoying the film’s fortunes are exceptionally strong reviews, with critics giving the film a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95% — with an average critic rating of 8.2/10 — while praising it as the most visually striking “Wick” film yet. If audience reception is just as strong, the film has strong potential to leg out to a global box office total of $400 million or higher — first for a “Wick” film” — as its status as an R-rated action film will make it a unique offering at the box office for weeks to come.