The "Parabellum" of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum means "prepare for war." The spring 2019 box office is going to be quite a minefield, but I have a feeling Mr. Wick will put up a worthy fight. He's beaten the odds before.
John Wick 3 opens in theaters Friday, May 17, and BoxOfficePro is estimating it will make $30-40 million. That would set it up for the best debut of the franchise, especially if it opens on the higher end of that prediction.
Here are the past two opening weekends for the franchise to date:
As you can see, the second film's opening doubled the first film's take. It did have more screens, and hopefully The Powers That Be take the hint and open Chapter 3 on even more screens for even more chances at even more money.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say John Wick 3 will open to $43 million. Chapter 2 ended on a great cliffhanger, with John Wick declared excommunicado. There's a $14 million global contract out on his head. He's on the run with his post-puppy dog. If you caught up on the first two movies, wouldn't you be curious how John Wick gets out of this latest mess? What if he doesn't?
Plus, Chapter 3 adds Halle Berry in a major role, with her own lethal two dogs. Anjelica Huston is also in the mix, among the other new characters. Old favorites like Ian McShane's Continental manager Winston; Laurence Fishburne's Bowery King; and Lance Reddick's Charon will also be back.
Director Chad Stahelski -- who met Keanu Reeves as his stunt double for The Matrix, which is just a fun fact on that movie's 20th anniversary -- has said John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is 20% more movie than Chapter 2. It has more characters, and more action by at least three sequences. So the body count is substantially higher. John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 were more two-act stories, he added, and in Parabellum there are two storylines going on, so it's more of a three-act film.
There seems to be a lot of interest in this movie, so I'm sticking with my $43 million domestic opening guess, and I'll go ahead and lock in a high total worldwide gross guess of $210 million. It's not even clear how many countries will be getting John Wick 3, and when, but the trend is upward so I'm sticking with it.
Here are the total grosses for the previous two films, per Box Office Mojo:
It's kind of surprising these films don't make more money in theaters, but they do seem to -- ahem -- make a killing with fans in repeat viewings at home. Just through sheer buzz, there seems to be a lot of interest in Parabellum, so I'm pretty confident it will have the best opening of the franchise.
That said, there's a lot of competition out there. May 10 has Ryan Reynolds' Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, with Aladdin and BrightBurn following John Wick 3 on May 24. The month is ending with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. There's not going to be a lot of time to make money, at least in the domestic opening.
Follow every opening with our 2019 movie release date schedule, and post your own John Wick 3 opening prediction below. Do you plan to see the movie when it first opens May 17-19, or wait a bit? Does it depend on reviews, or you wouldn't care?
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Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.