When Lionsgate released John Wick in October of 2014, they certainly had hopes for the $20 million movie to spawn a franchise of sequels. The film was already earning critical acclaim as a refreshingly fun action film, plus industry buzz rumored a return to form for The Matrix star Keanu Reeves. It by no means flopped, opening in second place under the much more profitable, small-budgeted Ouji. Ultimately, the film brought in a very respectable $86 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, and over $20 million more in physical Blu-ray and DVD sales and rentals.
The sleeper success of the first film revived the studio’s hope for a new franchise, and this weekend’s highly anticipated John Wick: Chapter 2 critical acclaim is certainly shaping up to be just that. As previously reported, the sequel is garnering positive critical acclaim, not to mention our past ranking of #11 of the most anticipated movies of 2017. But don’t go placing your bets on there being a John Wick 3 just yet.
Although all signs point to a profitable box-office weekend for our cinematic assassin-of-the-moment, director Chad Stahelski says a third installment of the franchise has yet to be made 100 percent official. In our recent interview with the stuntman-turned-director, he clarified initial reports regarding John Wick 3.
“I’ll say this: we’ve been asked to give [John Wick 3] thought. No one has been consigned anything specific other than, “we’d like to do one, would you be interested in doing another one?” … Personally, I’d like to be involved in some creative capacity.”
It’s understandable why Lionsgate would want to explore the potential storyline of a third John Wick, but hold off until this weekend’s numbers come in. The studio was quick to green light a follow up to Now You See Me, and its third installment was green lit before the sequel hit screens last year. But John Wick was nowhere near as profitable as that slight-of-hand thriller (over $351 million worldwide on the first film alone). Other franchises from the studio that were also more sure-thing bets include The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent and of course anything Tyler Perry presents.
This October, Lionsgate plans to put the pieces of Saw back together with Saw: Legacy, again a not-surprising move. But John Wick surpassed the presumed money-grab that it was first perceived as, proving Reeves can still lead an expertly crafted actioner. With a more aggressive ad campaign for this weekend’s sequel, not to mention the world-building spinoff John Wick Chronicles VR game, we’re betting the announcement of the next chapter in Mr. Wick’s future is pretty secure, and Stahelski should keep his phone handy for the green light phone call to come.