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 on track for a strong $56 million opening weekend.
Not only would that result be nearly double the $30.4 million opening for 2017’s “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 64% 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.’ “Pokémon: 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.