John Wick unleashed more than just its signature brand of brutally choreographed action sequences on Endgame. It did more than charm critics not named me. (It holds an 89% “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) It fired off all the punctuation it realistically could in its title, bombarding moviegoers with both a colon and a dash. My editor usually corrects this sort of punctuational exuberance in my writing, but moviegoers were charmed: John Wick banked a whopping $57 million in North America—far more than the $30-35 million prognosticators were originally expecting. Here’s betting they slip in a semicolon for Chapter 4. (And after this installment’s success, it seems a safe bet that there will be another John Wick film.)
With only a mere colon in its title, Avengers: Endgame slipped to second place with $29.4 million, pushing its total domestic gross to $770.8 million. That makes Marvel’s latest the second-biggest movie of all time in North America, squeezing past Avatar ($760.5 million) for the honors. Only Star Wars: The Force Awakens stands above Endgame with a $936.7-million haul.
Both Force Awakens and Endgame are distributed by Disney, by the way. And while Avatar was released by 20st Century Fox a decade ago, Disney just bought that studio, too. Seems like the Mouse House should be treating us all to discounted theme-park tickets now, doesn’t it? Endgame is also second all-time in terms of worldwide grosses, too. Its $2.6 billion trails Avatar ($2.8 billion) by less than $200 million.
Meanwhile, Detective Pikachu landed in third place with $24.8 million, zapping its total domestic haul to $94 million. And A Dog’s Journey had a rather ruff debut, retrieving $8 million—about $10 million behind where its predecessor, A Dog’s Purpose, opened just two years ago.
The Hustle closed the door on the top five and left newcomer The Sun Is Also a Star out in the cold of theatrical space, where no one could hear it weep. The latter, a teen rom-drama, fell well short of the studio’s modest expectations of $6-9 million. Instead, it banked just $2.6 million, which is about what Endgame’s villain Thanos spends on beard gel. The Sun Is Also a Star finished eighth, which suggests that the movie is also a bomb.