We're in the midst of the big summer movie season, which is still the biggest time to go the theaters of the year, but you wouldn't have known it based on this past weekend's returns. Men in Black International opened in first place, but with a lackluster total under $30 million. It was a largely disappointing weekend, unless you're John Wick. One of the few sequels this year not named Avengers to actually do well at the box office, actually set a record as the sequel to see the largest box office improvement over its predecessor.
With this past weekend's additional $6 million, it has brought the global total of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum to over $276 million worldwide, which is just short of a 61% increase over the $171 million that John Wick: Chapter 2 did globally. According to Forbes, this puts the movie ahead of the percentage increase that Captain America: Civil War did over its previous installment, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
This is just about the only good news that came off of this weekend's box office. Men in Black underperformed even though it took the top spot. The new Shaft movie opened in eighth place. The Secret Life of Pets 2 is sitting at about $50 million in global ticket sales below where the original film was at this point. Dark Phoenix saw a massive 72% drop in domestic box office following on an opening weekend that wasn't all that impressive to begin with.
In a year where most sequels aren't living up to expectations John Wick is one of the few doing what sequels are supposed to do, meeting or exceeding the success of the previous installment.
It's not surprising that John Wick Chapter 4 was given the green light after Chapter 3 opened so well. While it was far from clear the third film would have the legs that it has had, it opened incredibly strong compared to the previous films in the series.
Things will probably pick up at the box office this weekend. Toy Story 4 is opening on Friday and Pixar is almost always a powerhouse even when we're not talking about the studio's flagship franchise. The perfect score of positive reviews certainly won't hurt the film's box office chances. The fact that the movie is a highly anticipated movie from a well loved franchise that crosses multiple generations of fans will almost certainly mean big box office business.
Of course, since Keanu Reeves is also in Toy Story 4, what all this really means is that Keanu has taken over the box office forever and we should all just embrace the Keanussance. Clearly, he's the single reason that some sequels are doing well others are failing.