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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.
"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.