John Wick 4 jabs a pencil in the eye of the competition with franchise-best $73.5M debut

Someone shoulda told Shazam! that the gods have no fury like John Wick.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly, where he covers breaking news, all things Real Housewives, and a rich cornucopia of popular culture. Formerly a senior editor at Out magazine, his work has appeared on NewNowNextQueertyRolling Stone, and The New Yorker. He was also the first author signed to Phoebe Robinson’s Tiny Reparations imprint. He met Oprah once.

You just don’t get in the way of John Wick, and by the fourth time around that should be pretty obvious.

Raking in an impressive $73.5 million over three days, John Wick: Chapter 4 fought it way to the top of the box office, defying expectations and making it the best debut of the franchise yet.

Internationally, the film took in an estimated $64 million, debuting at No. 1 in each of the 71 markets where it opened, for a worldwide gross of $137.5 million.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4

Keanu Reeves as John Wick. MURRAY CLOSE/LIONSGATE

When Keanu Reeves’ tired, titular, would-be retired assassin uncovers a path to defeating the High Table, a cabal of world leaders, he must first face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes before he can claim his freedom.

The fourth installment of the franchise is once again directed by Chad Stahelski, who oversaw the previous three films, and stars Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Bill Skarsgård, Donnie Yen, and Lance Reddick, who died shortly before the film’s premiere.

Lance Reddick as Charon in John Wick Chapter 4

Lance Reddick in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’. LIONSGATE

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick,” Reeves and Stahelski said, in a statement provided to EW. “He was the consummate professional and a joy to work with. Our love and prayers are with his wife Stephanie, his children, family and friends. We dedicate the film to his loving memory. We will miss him dearly.”

While this may be the last time that Reeves heads a John Wick movie, fans will at least get to see him reprise Wick in the forthcoming spin-off Ballerina, starring Ana de Armas and directed by Underworld‘s Len Wiseman.

In its second week of release Shazam! Fury of the Gods is still struggling to find a wider audience, bringing in just $9.7 million for a total of $46.3 million domestically, with a worldwide gross of $102.4 million.

The film’s star Zachary Levi cited marketing as the film’s “biggest issue” in terms of its lackluster reception, writing on Twitter, “This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame.”

Scream VICreed III, and the Adam Driver space thriller 65 rounded out the top 5 at the domestic box office.

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