' John Wick ' Is An Enormous Success Of The Box Office. Can It Become A Top Franchise For Action Overseas? - DaOptimistic World




Tuesday, 10 September 2019

' John Wick ' Is An Enormous Success Of The Box Office. Can It Become A Top Franchise For Action Overseas?

The threequel gained $321 million globally, up 86 percent from John Wick: the $172 million cume of Chapter Two in 2017 and 3.6x the $88 million earned in 2014 by John Wick. With regard to the development of film-to-film franchises that do not take excessive sabbaticals This was unprecedented (sorry, Jurassic World or Mad Max: Fury Road). Can John Wick: Chapter 4 transform the franchise into a blockbuster franchise globally at A-level?
Twice in a row, because it began tiny, it was able to jump so far from its corresponding predecessor. We talked about a film that gained Adeline's (under-appreciated) age as much domestically as Blake Lively. It was a true sequel to the breakout in 2017, but the franchise from John Wick did not jump so high that there was nothing to go but down. It wasn't Pitch Perfect, which jumped from $65 million in 2012 to $188 million in 2015 and gained $100 million in 2017, or Austin Powers, which went from $53 million to $205 million to $215 million. A bump from $43 million to $92 million is significant, particularly in this environment where originals are struggling and pre-packaged franchise starters are playing like sequels.
Nevertheless, breakout sequels often peak at the second installment or end up with threequels earning just one tad more than the sequel. There are exceptions, but John Wick leapt even higher in terms of conventional sequels than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first X-Men trilogy ($157 million to $214 million to $235 million) and the first three Bourne films ($128 million to $152 million to $227 million). Heck, John Wick: John Wick jumped higher in chapter 3: Chapter 2 than Captain America: Civil War (+ 57 percent of The Winter Soldier's gross $259 million thanks to its transformation into Avengers 2.5), Thor: Ragnarok (+ 56 percent of The Dark World's complete $206 million) and Skyfall (+ 81 percent of the gross $167 million of Quantum of Solace).

Last we looked, there was a Chinese spin-off in growth three years ago and a straight-up three-prong, but it has been silent for years. I don't know if the Jesse Eisenberg / Woody Harrelson / Mark Ruffalo / Dave Franco series is two-and-done, but it was lucky to be debuting in one of the last years when such an original biggie had a shot in the hell of breaking up. Also in the summer of 2013 was James Wan's The Conjuring debut, which was a (alleged) unique "based-on - a-true-story" haunted house film so effective ($317 million on a $20 million budget)That it created a series of spin-offs and became the first undoubtedly successful film universe post-Avengers. Cue six films and $1,793 billion on a combined budget of $131 million with little sign of slowing down.
I wrote in 2015 that The Hunger Games might end up the last new-to-cinema top-tier blockbuster franchise. Thus far, save for (obviously) animated biggies and new superheroes introduced into the DC Comics/Marvel brands or respective cinematic universes, that has remained true. Warcraft cost too much ($165 million) and earned too much ($218 million) of its $439 million gross in China. Divergent never breached $300 million, while The Maze Runner peaked at $348 million. Kingsman peaked at $428 million while Fifty Shades (understandably) peaked at part one with $571 million worldwide. The last original live-action flick to crack $700 million was Gravity six years ago. Interstellar earned $677 million in 2014. Since then, the only live-action Hollywood original to get anywhere near $500 million was San Andreas ($494 million) in June of 2015.

The last new-to-cinema adaptations to crack $600 million were The Martian ($630 million) five years ago and It ($700 million) two years ago. We can debate how to classify Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk ($525 million in the summer of 2017), but that World War II thriller counts either way. San Andreas never spawned a sequel, It will likely conclude with Chapter Two and Ridley Scott used his post-Martian capital to go back to the Alien series, where (ironically) he bombed with Alien: Covenant ($242 million) in 2017. To the extent that you can consider $600-$700 million worldwide as the “bottom” for A-level blockbuster grosses, it’s been almost entirely fueled, over the last four years, by brand adaptations, sequels, legacy sequels, remakes and the newest incarnations, remakes, legacy sequels and installments in already established DC/Marvel superhero franchises.
So, going forward, the question is whether Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 (opening May 21, 2021) can do what Universal’s Fast & Furious and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol did for their respective “real world” action franchises. They earned strong domestic grosses, in both cases an upswing from an under-performing threequel but took off overseas. Mission: Impossible III made $143 million domestic and $393 million worldwide in the summer of 2006, but Ghost Protocol earned $209 million domestic and $692 million worldwide in late 2011. The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift grossed $63 million/$159 million in 2006 while Fast & Furious earned $155 million/$363 million in 2009, paving the way for Fast Five to amass $210 million/$626 million in 2011 and send that franchise into hyperdrive.
This isn’t an exact match. Despite a relatively consistent 54% domestic/46% overseas split, John Wick series has yet to slow down, Tokyo Drift was a glorified spin-off and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol earned less in North America than Mission: Impossible II ($215 million in 2000). Moreover, the John Wick series is R-rated and has yet to play in China. However, both franchises transitioned (more so with Fast & Furious versus the already 40% domestic/60% overseas Mission: Impossible series) into overseas monsters that allowed for top-tier global grossers with merely “pretty damn good” domestic earnings. Mission: Impossible - Fallout earned $792 million worldwide with “only” $220 million domestic last year. Fate of the Furious earned $226 million in North America, $392 million in China and $1.236 billion worldwide in 2017.

Both franchises are rooted in big action stars (Tom Cruise and Vin Diesel) doing their thing alongside an increasingly big (and vital) ensemble cast of fellow action heroes. Both franchises blew up, with the obvious caveat that Mission: Impossible ($458 million in 1996) and Mission: Impossible II ($542 million in 2000) were huge in their day, when they became more ensemble in nature. Folks are just as excited for newbies like Hayley Atwell showing up for Mission: Impossible 7 as they are for the returning supporting cast (Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, etc.) and Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. I wouldn’t be shocked if Chad Stahelski and Derek Kolstad’s John Wick: Chapter 4more colorful assassins (played by well-liked/media-friendly actors) taking the fight to the High Table alongside Keanu Reeves’ titular anti-hero.

Can John Wick: Chapter 4 follows in the franchise footsteps of Mission: Impossible, Fast & Furious and (on TV) the likes of 24 and The X-Files (which both went from acclaimed cult favorites to mainstream smash hits in season four)? Depending on how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness plays compared to most MCU summer-kick-off movies, John Wick 4, with or without an emphasis on ensemble action,might have room to grow overseas. Universal’s Fast & Furious 10 (allegedly the finale) opens April 2, 2021 (my 41st birthday), The Batman begins on June 25 and Mission: Impossible 7 will open July 23. John Wick 4 has plenty of room to be the next new-to-cinema blockbuster franchise, six years after The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, as opposed to mere counterprogramming.

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