LOS ANGELES — Earth's Mightiest Heroes put up a good fight, but John Wick put at end to the three-week box office reign of "Avengers: Endgame."
Propelled by positive reviews, "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum" beat expectations with a debut of $57 million from 3,850 North American locations. That was enough to nab the box office crown from "Avengers: Endgame," Marvel's latest juggernaut that collected $29.4 million during its fourth weekend of release.
"Parabellum," the third installment of the action franchise, opened well above its predecessors 2014's "John Wick" ($14.4 million) and 2017's "John Wick: Chapter 2" ($30.4 million). "John Wick 3" also hit a franchise record overseas, bowing with $35 million from 66 international markets for a global start of $92 million.
In "Parabellum," Keanu Reeves returns as the titular ex-hitman who finds himself on the run from assassins. Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski helmed the movie, written by series-creator Derek Kolstad. Halle Berry and Laurence Fisburne also star. Males accounted for 63 percent of opening weekend moviegoers, with 45 percent of that crowd over the age of 25.
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"John Wick 3" was a much-needed win for Lionsgate. The studio suffered a string of flops with its big-budget reboot of "Robin Hood" with Taron Egerton, a "Hellboy" remake, and Liam Neeson thriller "Cold Pursuit."
"Avengers: Endgame," which slid to second place on domestic box office charts, has now earned $771 million in North America. It officially passed "Avatar" and its $761 million haul to become the second-highest grossing movie at the domestic box office behind only "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" with $937 million. "Avengers: Endgame" hit $2.6 billion in ticket sales worldwide, inching toward "Avatar" and its $2.78 billion global box office record.
"John Wick 3" opened alongside Universal and Amblin's "A Dog's Journey" and Warner Bros. and MGM's "The Sun Is Also a Star."
"A Dog's Journey" arrived below expectations, launching at No. 4 with $8 million from 3,200 venues. It's pacing significantly below 2017's "A Dog's Purpose," the original film in the saga about a canine's adventure to find meaning. That movie debuted with $18 million and went on to earn $64 million at the domestic box office. It became a big hit with international audiences, grossing $140 million overseas.
This weekend's final new wide release, "The Sun Is Also a Star," collapsed with a disastrous $2.6 million bow from 2,073 theaters. The YA romance drama, based on Nicola Yoon's novel, received mixed reviews. It earned a lackluster B- CinemaScore, as well as a 51 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. "Grown-ish" actress Yara Shahidi stars as a brainy student who forms a relationship with a charming exchange student ("Riverdale's" Charles Melton), as her family faces deportation.
Another Warner Bros. title, "Detective Pikachu," came in third place, adding $24.8 million during its second weekend in theaters. The Pokemon adaptation with Ryan Reynolds has generated $94 million in North America.
Rounding out the top five is United Artist Releasing's "The Hustle," pocketing $6 million over the three-day frame. Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway co-star in the comedy, which has made $23 million to date.
Ticket sales are have fallen around 10 percent behind last year, according to Comscore. Hollywood is banking on some big blockbusters, as well as a few surprise hits, to boost revenues during the busy summer movie season.