John Wick: Chapter 3–Parabellum to Top Box-Office

John Wick: Chapter 3–Parabellum should take down Avengers: Endgame, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Lionsgate’s third installment of the Keanu Reeves action franchise is over-performing forecasts, which had been in the $30-$35 million range. With at least $50 million at 3,850 sites, it should beat the fourth weekend of Disney-Marvel’s megahit Avengers: Endgame, which is heading for $30 million.

The first “John Wick” debuted with $14.4 million in 2014 and 2017’s “John Wick: Chapter Two” launched with $30.4 million. “John Wick 3” sees Reeves return as an ex-hitman on the run from assassins. Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski helmed the movie, written by series creator Derek Kolstad. Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos and Asia Kate Dillon also star.

The completion of Chapter 3 brought to an end months of intense physical training for the cast members.

Halle Berry said at the premiere that she practiced different types of martial arts for eight hours a day, six months in a row.

“I did aikido, jiujitsu, tae kwon do, judo, and then I had firearms training that I never had done before in my life,” Berry said, adding that she also had a hand in training the dogs in the film.

Director Chad Stahelski described the grueling filmmaking process as “the theater of pain.”

“The audience responds to the pain and suffering that they’re going through,” he said. “You feel more empathy toward the character.”

Derek Kolstad, who helped pen the screenplay, echoed Stahelski’s sentiment, saying that the physical demands pay off in the end.

“It’s easy as a writer to just throw in, ‘It’s raining. It’s dusk,’ and all these other elements, but a lot of times, and especially meeting and working with Keanu and Chad, and saying to ourselves, ‘Is it worth it?’ And for a guy like Chad and a guy like Keanu, it is,” Kolstad said.

“It makes their job three to five times harder and the shooting process a lot more difficult, but when you see a good shot — and let’s be honest, look at the shots from The Matrix especially, that took days to set up for a couple seconds of screen time. It’s worth it. That’s the kind of shit we want to watch.”
Leading man Keanu Reeves put it simply, “Sure, there are some long days but I love that.”

Lance Reddick, who’s been with the franchise since the start, holds that there’s more action in John Wick 3 than ever before.

“It sounds kind of cliche, but I think it’s true — it’s bigger and better. And by that I mean, in terms of the action, if you can believe it — John Wick 2, sometimes it felt like an hour-and-a-half fight scene — but it’s actually more action and it’s actually more intricate and it’s more exciting,” he said.

“There are actually more fight scenes, and in terms of the story, you find out so much more about the world.”