‘John Wick 4’ Box Office Speeds Past $400 Million Worldwide and ‘Evil Dead Rise’ Keeps Rising

Keanu Reeves in "John Wick: Chapter 4"

Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 4” passed $400 million worldwide this week, a first for the R-rated, Keanu Reeves-starring action series that puts it in contention to become a top-earning franchise — a win that the studio greatly needed to meet Wall Street’s lofty expectations.

The fourth installment has already earned more — $176 million and counting — domestically than “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.” Cruciallly, though, what’s letting it far outpace the previous film is the $226 million it has earned overseas, 43% more than the $157 million earned by “Chapter 3.”

That’s an overseas bump on par with the third entries for “Jason Bourne” (up 17%), “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” (up 83%), “Fast & Furious” (up 213%) or the 3-D enhanced “Resident Evil: Afterlife” (up 247%). It didn’t quite soar to infinity and beyond overseas on the fourth go-around as with some action franchises, but “John Wick 4” will still end up earning over $100 million more than its predecessor.

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The mythology-heavy installment “has somewhat quietly churned out this great global run in a climate where, for various economic reasons within and outside the industry, not all franchises have been able to outperform their recent predecessors,” Boxoffice Pro chief analyst Shawn Robbins noted. In terms of quickly released franchises, “John Wick” joins the rare likes of “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Thor” in having three sequels that each topped their predecessors domestically.

Barring a breakout in Japan this coming September, the $100 million film should end with around $435 million worldwide. That would make it Lionsgate’s seventh-biggest grosser ever behind “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II” ($830 million in 2012), the four “Hunger Games” films ($694 million, $865 million, $755 million and $653 million) and “La La Land” ($447 million in 2016).

Once “John Wick 4” passes “Bad Boys for Life” ($430 million in early 2020), it’ll be the biggest-grossing non-comic-book, R-rated Hollywood actioner since “The Revenant” ($535 million in 2015) or “Lucy” ($458 million) and “American Sniper” ($548 million), both in 2014. (That record may depend on what one counts as an action movie, of course.)

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“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” got a power-up

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was once again the top-earning movie at the worldwide box office, adding $71 million overseas (down 27% from the previous week) for a $112 million global weekend and $1.026 billion global running total. That includes a strong $13.8 million launch in Japan, good for the second-biggest Hollywood debut since the start of the COVID pandemic.

That’s also, in Japan, the biggest launch for a Hollywood toon, the biggest Friday-to-Sunday opening for a video game-based film and the biggest debut ever for Universal. It also earned a robust $5.8 million in South Korea, jumping 294% from Friday to Saturday. That was the last of its major markets, so now it’s just a question of legs.

Presuming a normal rate of descent — and thus far there’s been nothing normal about the Illumination toon’s legs — expect a final global gross of around $1.25 billion. That would put it above “Incredibles 2” ($1.243 billion in 2018) and behind only “Frozen” ($1.276 billion in 2013) and “Frozen II” ($1.45 billion in 2019) among all animated films in unadjusted global earnings.

Furthermore, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a very violent, often grim and melancholy PG-13. It may not be as kid-friendly as hoped. It’s quite possible that Universal and Nintendo’s juggernaut will remain the family movie of the moment at least until Walt Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” in late May.

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“Evil Dead Rise” keeps rising

Warner Bros. Discovery’s “Evil Dead Rise” earned another $15.3 million overseas, dropping just 24% and raising its foreign total to $43.7 million. The $15 million, R-rated horror flick has now earned $88 million worldwide. Presuming a normal rate of descent, it should finish with around $140 million worldwide, or in line with “Halloween Kills” ($131 million in 2021) and “Scream” ($140 million in 2022). Not bad for a movie that was supposed to debut on HBO Max.

The brutally violent chiller, Robbins pointed out, “adds to the chorus of recent horror hits.” Furthermore, he continued, “Evil Dead” and the new “John Wick” sequel showcase that high concept, R-rated films with organic fan followings have an important place in the worldwide box office ecosphere.”

Fair or not, “Evil Dead Rise” is Warner Bros. Discovery’s first unmitigated, drama-free theatrical success since “Elvis” last June. Yes, Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh’s “Don’t Worry Darling” earned $85 million on a reported $35 million budget, but that film’s tabloid-frenzy media coverage, often focused on things that didn’t happen (no, Harry Styles didn’t spit on Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival) overshadowed the old-school success story.

Since Warners often distributes MGM movies overseas, it’s also responsible for the $27.1 million (out of $74 million worldwide) earned by “Air” and the $116 million (out of $272 million global) earned by “Creed III.”

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Chinese films are again succeeding in China

Meanwhile, five out of the top 10 movies were non-Hollywood flicks. China’s “Born to Fly,” a fighter pilot melodrama obviously indented as the country’s answer to “Top Gun: Maverick,” opened with a whopping $40 million in its Chinese debut.

However, it has already fallen behind in daily grosses to “Godspeed.” The family road trip comedy opened with $32 million and then nabbed a rousing $19.2 million on China’s Memorial Day, pushing its four-day cume to $50 million or just behind the military actioner’s $56 million Friday-to-Monday total. The films are now essentially tied with just-under $80 million.

Finally, Japan’s blockbuster animated film “The First Slam Dunk” passed $87 million in China following a $100 million-plus performance in its native territory. It is already the second-biggest non-Chinese, non-Hollywood toon ever in China behind the recent “Suzume” ($112 million).

Based on Takehiko Inoue’s 1990s manga which spawned several anime movies in that decade, “The First Slam Dunk” is the first new movie from the IP in nearly 30 years. It also marks Inoue’s directorial debut. With $216 million worldwide thus far, it will debut stateside later this year via GKIDS.

Once again, both the strength of “Godspeed” and the blow-out success of “The First Slam Dunk” defy the conventional wisdom about what clicks for Chinese moviegoers.

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