‘John Wick: Chapter 3’ Shoots Up $5.9M Thursday Night

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Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum grossed a great $5.9 million last night, a figure that blows away the R-rated action pic’s previous previews. That ranks it as the highest Thursday night preview gross in Lionsgate history outside of Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 and The Hunger Games films. The pic opened on 3,000 screens.

The first John Wick Thursday previews earned $950,000, while John Wick 2 made $2.2M, which repped 20% of its $10.95M Friday. John Wick 3‘s Thursday is even higher than the previews for Sony/MGM’s last James Bond movie Spectre, which made $5.25M (and went on to earn a $27.4M Friday), and even 2012’s Skyfall ($4.6M Thursday, $30.5M Friday), though both of those pics were PG-13.

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The Keanu Reeves’ R-rated action threequel from director Chad Stahelski (who helmed John Wick: Chapter 2) is poised to see the series’ highest domestic opening this weekend with $50M at 3,850 theaters, finally unseating Disney’s Avengers: Endgame in its fourth weekend. The Marvel epic is expected to do $30M at 4,220 theaters, and led all titles Thursday with $3.4M at 4,662 sites bringing its three-week running total to $741.38M.

If that $30M estimate sticks by Sunday, Avengers: Endgame will topple Avatar as the second-highest grossing film at the domestic box office ($760.5M) with a cume that’s north of $771M.

We hear that early PostTrak results for John Wick 3 are similar to part 2: largely males over 25, then females over 25, followed by males under 25 and females under 25. This is a franchise that has grown with age thanks in large part to its play in the home ancillary market. The first John Wick on October 24, 2014 opened to $14.4M, and John Wick 2 opened to $30.4M.

In part 3, the assassin is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and has a $14M price tag on his head — he is the target of hit men and hit women everywhere. Halle Berry and Ian McShane also star.

Warner Bros/Legendary’s Pokemon Detective Pikachu is looking at a second weekend of $20M in third place. The Ryan Reynolds-voiced pic ended its first week with $69.1M after a Thursday take of $2.7M. MGM’s The Hustle was third yesterday with $797K and a first week of $17.06M.

Warner Bros also has the MGM/Alloy Entertainment teen pic The Sun Is Also a Star based on the Nicola Yoon novel and directed by Ry Russo-Young. Previews started at 4 PM last night for the pic which is expected to do between $6M-$9M. Film follows a teenager who finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life.

Universal Pictures has Amblin/ Reliance/Walden Media/Alibaba’s A Dog’s Journey in roughly 3,200 North American theaters with a mid-teens opening expected. Directed by Emmy winner Gail Mancuso, A Dog’s Journey is produced by Gavin Polone and written by W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon, and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky, and is based on Cameron’s bestselling novel.  A Dog’s Purpose from Uni/Amblin opened to $18.2M and finaled at $64.5M.

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