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So far the John Wick movies have left their mark on two seasons. The series kicked off in October 2014 and quietly became a box office success, while John Wick: Chapter 2 opened this past February and collected over $171 million, nearly double what its predecessor hauled in. So John Wick 3 could have easily stuck to either of these two seasons, but instead, Lionsgate is taking the upcoming follow-up to 2019's early summer movie season, meaning it will have a lot more blockbuster competition.
Lionsgate officially announced today that John Wick 3 will be released in theaters on May 17, 2019. So far the threequel is the only movie scheduled for that day, though you can guarantee that it won't stay that way for long. Plus, John Wick 3 finds itself sandwiched between some heavy competition already scheduled for that May. Opening on May 3 is Avengers 4, which is closing out the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three. Following a week behind John Wick 3 will be Disney's live action Aladdin remake and the Minecraft movie.
So Lionsgate is taking a risk moving John Wick 3 out of the fall/late winter period when there are fewer blockbusters and into the summer when there's an abundance of them. Still, considering the critical and commercial performance of the previous movies, evidently the studio has faith that John Wick 3 will still draw in sizable audiences. However, don't think that this date shift necessarily means that John Wick 3 will be awarded a larger budget, as John Wick: Chapter 2 director Chad Stahelski told CinemaBlend earlier this year that he and Keanu Reeves don't want to take the "bigger is better" route with the upcoming movie.
Warning: SPOILERS for John Wick: Chapter 2 are ahead!
At the end of John Wick: Chapter 2, John was declared "excommunicado" after killing Santino D'Antonio on The Continental grounds. Since those hotels are considered to be neutral territory in the world of assassins, John's offense could have had him killed. Fortunately, Winston managed to reduce the punishment so that John was cut off from all his underworld connections and resources. Giving John a Marker for future use, Winston gave his old friend a one-hour head start before announcing his excommunication and the bounty on his head being doubled. With only his natural skills and a dog by his side, John will still be on the run from his fellow killers during John Wick 3.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how John Wick 3 is progressing. For those of you craving more stories centered on Keanu Reeves' character, Dynamite Entertainment is now publishing a John Wick comic book series that will show how he became the feared hitman we know best. You can also look through our movie premiere guide to find out what's coming out during the remainder of 2017.