‘John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum.
Defying the law of diminishing returns for sequels, the latest iteration of Lionsgate’s John Wick franchise made more money in its first weekend in Australia than the lifetime total of the previous edition.
Meanwhile Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame set new milestones in the US and internationally and Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding maintained momentum in its third weekend.
Bollywood romantic comedy De De Pyaar De had a respectable debut while Mike Leigh’s Peterloo and Spanish thriller The Realm tanked.
The top 20 titles generated $14.4 million, 13 per cent down on the previous weekend, according to Numero.
Released by Studiocanal, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum grabbed $4.1 million on 260 locations and $4.3 million including previews. That eclipsed the predecessor which opened with $1.8 million in 2017 and ended up with $4.25 million.
Directed by series regular Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane and Angelica Huston, the thriller rang up an estimated $57 million in the US and $35.2 million in 66 offshore markets, ranking at No.1 in 53.
Legendary Entertainment/Warner Bros’ live action-hybrid Pokémon Detective Pikachu scored $3.3 million in its second weekend, falling by 34 per cent, which brings the total to $9.4 million.
The Rob Letterman-directed fantasy/mystery, which stars Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton and Ken Watanabe, has bagged $94 million in the US and $206.4 million worldwide, well short of recouping the $150 million production budget and P&A.
Avengers: Endgame snared $3.1 million in its third outing, propelling the total to $78.6 million. The superhero action adventure directed by the Russo brothers has amassed $2.615 billion globally, led by China’s $625 million, the second biggest title in history behind Avatar’s $2.788 billion.
Domestically the blockbuster soared past Avatar to $771 million, occupying the #2 all-time spot behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $937 million.
Universal’s The Hustle fetched $1.4 million in its second weekend (off 37 per cent), climbing to $4.6 million. Pro-rata, the Chris Addison-directed comedy starring Anna Hathaway and Rebel Wilson is outperforming the US’s $23.1 million.
Top End Wedding ascended to $3.8 million after drawing $519,000 for Universal, declining by 40 per cent.
Surveying the weekend business, Wallis Cinemas programming manager Sasha Close tells IF: “Pushing Avengers from top spot John Wick 3 opened impressively, Pokemon is entertaining family audiences and Top End Wedding is holding well at key upmarket and regional sites.
“All will face competition this week from the Disney entrant Aladdin and Paramount’s Rocketman, the latter opening on limited weekend paid previews after receiving rave reviews internationally.”
Despite the stellar cast led by Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston and Rhea Perlman, Zara Haynes’ cheerleading comedy Poms is falling on deaf ears, collecting $405,000 in its second weekend and $1.5 million thus far for Roadshow.
Another misfire is Jordan Levine’s comedy Long Shot, which has delivered $1.9 million for Studiocanal after making $214,000 in its third weekend.
Starring Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Rakul Preet Singh, first-time director Akiv Ali’s De De Pyaar De grossed $183,000 on 37 screens for Mind Blowing Films.
Universal’s alternate content release Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun advanced to $847,000 after whistling up $87,000 in its third weekend.
Transmission launched Peterloo, the saga of an infamous massacre in 1819 when a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester turned ugly, on 31 screens, generating $27,000 and $68,000 with Mini British Film Festival screenings and sneaks.
Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s The Realm, an expose of political corruption in Spain, took $10,000 on 13 screens and $46,000 with Moro Spanish Film Festival screening and previews for Rialto.
Cinema Nova general manager Kristian Connelly blamed the distraction of the federal election for the disappointing debuts of Peterloo and The Realm but was pleased with the turnouts for event screenings of Damon Gameau’s 2040 (which opens on Thursday via Madman) and Farshid Akhlaghi’s feature doc From Music Into Silence.