Box Office: 'John Wick' Adds to Big $22M Friday Haul

Niko Tavernise

The movie is now tracking for a massive $50 million plus weekend.

John Wick is coming in way over expectations at the weekend box office. The action franchise's third installment, Parabellum, earned $22.6 million on Friday, adding to its big $5.9 million in Thursday night previews.

The movie is now aiming for a stateside box office of approximately $50 million, coming in above some early surveys that had the movie tracking for a $40 million bow.

Parabellum will open higher than the franchise's 2014 original ($14.4 million) and 2017's Chapter 2 ($30.4 million). The film had been tracking for an opening in the $40 million range but will likely come in much higher. Outside of the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, Parabellum's Thursday night gross is the highest to date for John Wick studio, Lionsgate. 

In Parabellum, Keanu Reeves returns as the formerly retired hit man who finds himself stripped of the protection from a shadowy international assassin's guild. Now stuck with a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through the streets of New York as he becomes the target of the world's most ruthless killers. Franchise newcomers Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston join in on the fight.

The well-reviewed action-thriller, which is due to open wide on 3,000 screens, is once again helmed by stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski. The movie currently sits at an 88 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a Metacritic score of 73 and an A- CinemaScore.

Also opening this weekend is Amblin Entertainment and Universal's A Dog's Purpose sequel, A Dog's Journey. The family film grossed $275,000 in previews from 2,450 theaters, before expanding to 3,267 screens and snagging $2.25 million at the Friday box office.

The pooch-filled follow-up has earned middling reviews, with a 55 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is being incredibly well-received by audiences, with an A CinemaScore.  

Its predecessor, A Dog's Purpose, proved to be a box office hit, earning $64 million stateside and a massive $140 million at the international box office, $88 million of which was from the Chinese box office.

A Dog’s Journey sees the return of beloved family dog Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad), who comforts and protects his owner as he is reincarnated time and time again. Directed by Gail Mancuso, the family film is based on the best-selling novel by W. Bruce Cameron and stars Dennis Quaid and franchise newcomers Betty Gilpin and Kathryn Prescott. 

The weekend's other new offering is the YA adaptation The Sun Is Also a Star, which opened on 2,073 screens and earned $1 million on Friday.

Toplined by Yara Shahidi and Riverdale actor Charles Melton, Ry Russo Young directed the teen love story, which centers on Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley (Shahidi) as she meets the romantic Daniel Bae (Melton), who convinces her to spend the day traveling through New York City. The MGM and Warner Bros. title currently sits at a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B- CinemScore.