After three weekends reigning atop the box office, Marvel’s epic Avengers: Endgame is poised to abdicate the weekend throne to Keanu Reeves’ third outing as John Wick. Our pre-weekend analysis:
- John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has shown increasingly positive trends in recent weeks with tracking metrics ahead of films like Equalizer 2 and John Wick 2. The anticipated sequel boasts an 87 percent “average positive interest” score on Trailer Impact, well ahead of Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s 71 percent at the same point before release.
- Strong reviews for the Wick sequel are compounding interest levels among fans, as are the expanded cast (Halle Berry notably joins the franchise), the incoming goodwill of the previous two films, and the cliffhanger created by 2017’s previous entry in the series. That first sequel earned a domestic lifetime gross more than three times its opening weekend figure, a rare performance by modern franchises.
- Pre-sale activity is very strong for Wick, while a significant PLF run this weekend and the lack of R-rated options appealing to older males in the market right now serve as further boosters to opening weekend expectations.
- Although Avengers: Endgame will very likely give up the top spot this weekend, we’re projecting a still-strong fourth frame that should see the pic overtake Avatar‘s final domestic gross ($760.5 million) for second place all-time. Despite losing some PLF business, a softer decline that recent weekends is expected due to what is expected to be fairly minimal impact from the R-rated marquee opener.
- A Dog’s Journey has the benefit of built-in awareness thanks to previous adaptations from the book’s same author (W. Bruce Cameron), A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Way Home. Family appeal represents another strength for the sequel.
- The Sun Is Also A Star similarly will aim to capitalize on book familiarity with its target young adult / teenage audience as the lone date night movie appealing to that target base.
- Landing one week before the lucrative Memorial Day weekend, it’s possible that pre-sales for Wick are slightly heavier toward Thursday night’s debut than usual, and/or could result in some back-loading to the long holiday frame in its second week.
- Dog-centric films have proliferated in theaters over the past few years, and pre-release tracking for Journey reflects the likelihood of diminishing returns with recent interest levels trailing those of Dog’s Way Home.
- Similarly, young adult adaptations have faded in popularity. Opening in 25 percent fewer locations than 2017’s Everything, Everything suggests modest expectations are in store for The Sun Is Also A Star. Mixed reviews are also a factor.
Opening Weekend Ranges
- John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($44 – 59 million)
- A Dog’s Journey ($7 – 12 million)
- The Sun Is Also A Star ($4 – 8 million)
Top 10 vs. Last Year
Boxoffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will decline in overall earnings by approximately 25 percent from the same frame last year. That weekend saw the $125.5 million debut of Deadpool 2 atop the box office, driving a $200.4 million top ten aggregate gross.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, May 19||% Change from Last Wknd|
|John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum||Lionsgate / Summit||$52,500,000||$52,500,000||NEW|
|Avengers: Endgame||Disney / Marvel||$36,000,000||$778,900,000||-43%|
|Pokémon: Detective Pikachu||Warner Bros.||$27,600,000||$97,600,000||-49%|
|A Dog’s Journey||Universal||$9,000,000||$9,000,000||NEW|
|The Hustle||United Artists Releasing||$6,100,000||$23,100,000||-53%|
|The Sun Is Also A Star||Warner Bros.||$6,000,000||$6,000,000||NEW|
|Long Shot||Lionsgate / Summit||$4,000,000||$26,400,000||-36%|
|The Intruder||Sony / Screen Gems||$3,700,000||$27,800,000||-48%|
Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.