After "Us," "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" had the best non-Marvel opening this year with $57 million.
That's positive as we approach a summer full of sequels, but after three good weekends, it's the first weekend in which the total revenue dropped behind last year's $125 million premiere of "Deadpool 2."
All films grossed $150 million, $60 million less than 2018. Without "Endgame," grosses are $400 million, or 9%, lower. "Aladdin" leads Memorial Day weekend.
However, early forecasts put its gross below last year's "Solo: A Star Wars Story," so we could see another falloff before June's big debuts.
"Parabellum" is currently positive. Its opening weekend is the franchise's best and nearly doubles the 2017 sequel's. It's the first R-rated non-fantasy action film to top the box office since "The Equalizer 2" last summer,
twice "The Hitman's Bodyguard," and ahead of any of the three "Taken" films, the genre's template.
"Parabellum" shines in "Taken" comparisons. The first "Taken" sequel opened with a series-best six times the original's earnings. The third "Taken" trailed #2 but led the first. The series terminated after barely double its opening.
"John Wick" resembles "Fast and Furious." Its unexpected success led to a somewhat bigger second film and the best opening yet for the third.