saidi’s take – 3/28/2023

Hello everyone,

  • After last weekends box office disappointment when “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” made below expectations, the box office boom of March continues once again.  “John Wick 4” made approx. $74 million this past weekend which is a franchise record .  It’s also the best domestic opening weekend for a Lionsgate movie since the pandemic started, the best domestic opening for a R rated movie since the pandemic started, 2nd best domestic opening weekend of 2023 so far, and it’s Keanu Reeves 2nd best domestic opening weekend (after “Matrix Reloaded”).  Also, last weeks #1 “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” had a bigger 2nd weekend drop than “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”.  It dropped to #3 with just over $9 million.  A 69% 2nd weekend drop.
  • “John Wick 4” was also impressive at the worldwide box office with $138 million worldwide.  That’s also a franchise record (although the previous movies didn’t open worldwide on the same weekend).
  • All the major studios stopped releasing movies in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in Feb 2022 but – oddly – “John Wick 4” WAS playing in movie theaters in Russia this past weekend.  Why did that happen?  Lionsgate said they sell off foreign distribution rights for most international countries to raise capital for their productions.  The deal for “John Wick 4” was made before the invasion of Ukraine and couldn’t be changed.  They did confirm that a company that did not have a US sanction released the movie in Russia.  They also said that they have no current dealings with Russia except for previous contracts with parties not sanctioned by the US.
  • It was just announced that Liv Tyler will be reprising her role as Betty Ross from the 2008 “The Incredible Hulk” in next years “Captain America: New World Order”.  Her character is the daughter of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross who was played by William Hurt in the previous movie and in one of the previous Captain America movies, but will be played by Harrison Ford in next summers movie.
  • As I mentioned last week as a rumor, it was officially announced by Bob Iger in a company memo today that approx. 7000 employees with be laid off at Disney in the coming months.  It will happen in 3 phases.  A few will be laid off at the end of the week, a large amount will be laid off at the end of April, and the rest will be before the “start of summer” (possibly in early May).
  • It looks like another movie will be having a worldwide theatrical release before premiering on a streaming channel.  Paramount and Apple just announced that Martin Scorsese’s next movie “Killers Of The Flower Moon” will be released in an exclusive run in domestic movie theaters on Oct 6 and then Paramount will have a wide domestic release and worldwide release on Oct 20 before it starts streaming on Apple TV + sometime at the end of this year.

Little bit of humor: A lot of movie theater marquees look like this these days….

If the theater was playing “Creed 3” it would be ALL sequels.  I wonder what “John Wick 4” replaced this past weekend.