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Five Reasons ‘John Wick’ Franchise Can’t Be Stopped

Saga looks to break box office records this weekend, and that's no surprise

John Wick refuses to die.

That may seem obvious after hundreds, and hundreds of hit men have tried to rub him out over the franchise’s first three films.

Emphasis on “tried.”

The franchise is as vital as Keanu Reeves’ monosyllabic star. The fourth film in the saga is expected to sail past the $70 million mark this weekend, a bigger opening than the previous “Wick” affair.

Here’s a look at previous “Wick” films’ opening weekend numbers and overall hauls, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:

  • “John Wick” (2014) – Opening: $14.4 million/$43 million
  • “John Wick: Chapter 2” (2017) – Opening: $39 million/$92 million
  • “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” (2019) – Opening: $56 million/$171 million
  • John Wick: Chapter 4” (2023) – Opening: $70+ million/??? 

Why do some franchises stall, like the “Terminator” saga, while others grow stronger, more commercially viable?

In the case of the “Wick” saga, the answers are clear.

Keanu Goodwill Tour

Quick, name a salacious news story tied to the “Wick” superstar. Good luck. Now, Google all the times Reeves delighted fans, said something positive or otherwise brightened our world.

Give it a few minutes. It might take some time.

Top 10 Moments That Made Us Love Keanu Reeves

Tom Cruise’s charm offensive has helped him navigate the choppy pandemic waters, and Reeves’ notorious niceness can’t help but boost the saga’s fortunes. Plus, knowing the killing machine at the heart of the franchise is an old softie in real life makes the bone-crunching action even more satisfying.

Find Formula. Deliver Formula.

The “Wick” films take few cinematic chances. They never wade into the culture wars, refuse to embrace the woke mind virus and stick to what works best for Wick and co. Action. More action. Delirious action. And sumptuous set designs to make said action pop off the screen.

“John Wick: Chapter 4” is beautiful to behold … when you look past the stacks of dead assassins.

The saga took a page from the “Furious” and “Mission: Impossible” playbooks. Both franchises needed a few films to settle into the proper blueprint. In the case of “Wick,” that happened from the opening film.

Don’t Make Us Wait

It’s been four years since the last “Wick” installment, but that had more to do with COVID-19 than other factors. The franchise regularly churns out features – four over the last nine years. Compare that to the Bond franchise, which is far more methodical in its release pacing. The recent “Avatar: The Way of Water” hit theaters 13 years after the original.

A smart franchise strikes while the cinematic iron is hot.

Winston, Charon and More

John Wick can’t do everything by himself. He needs collaborators, rivals and threats to make his story soar. Enter Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick and, more recently, Bill Skarsgard.

The talented co-stars bring texture, vitality and even fear to the franchise.

The actors all play critical roles in the series, from frenemies like Caine (Donnie Yen) to long-time allies (McShane’s Winston). Some, like Halle Berry’s Sofia Al-Azwar, cry out for a franchise all her own.

Honor Among Killers

It’s the number-one reason Hollywood keeps cranking out hit men movies. Yes, they’re professional killers who lose little sleep over the people they snuff out.

They still follow strict codes of conduct. They never arbitrarily kill strangers, at least the better hit men don’t. They respect each other and the rules of their various organizations.

Yen’s character is tasked with killing John Wick in the fourth installment, but the two share a close bond and the assignment isn’t an easy one for him to take. He accepts it all the same, understanding his old friend will appreciate the reasons why.

No hard feelings among professional killers.

It’s also why we flock to mobster stories. Yes, gangsters are immoral killers willing to do anything for power. They also exhibit extreme loyalty in ways that even the kindest souls can’t always copy. That proves alluring in a sordid way for audiences.


  1. This is a lesson that Hollywood is having trouble learning. Actors/actresses are clowns paid to dance for us. They should appreciate that people want to see them. We so tired of being lectured to by idiots that are too rich for their brains.

    And let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Most people don’t want to be pandered to like what Disney is forever trying to do. We don’t want a black version of this or that. We don’t want a lazy remake to make the twitter crowd happy. We don’t need 80% of the people in front & behind the camera to be some form of alphabet or skin color. Get good people with experience writing your movies & directing them.

    I know I’m preaching to the crowd here but if Hollywood wants to survive, they know how to make good stuff. Tell the wokies to shut the hell up and push them out of every level of the business. Get people that are in it for the love of the industry and make great content again.

    1. @ Reb

      A couple of things.

      1. “Colorblind” Conservatives Don’t Live Up to the Label

      Maj Toure had the perfect response to those protesting movie characters being racebent:

      “If we truly “don’t see color” then we wouldn’t bring up or be “upset” about:

      – The skin tone of fictional characters.
      – The skin tone of idiots doing dumb stuff.

      The REALITY is we ALL “see color” and that phrase is used conveniently as a scapegoat when bias/bigotry is exposed.”


      2. Remakes Make Money

      For decades, Disney has funded live action remakes of its animated films because they make LOTS of money. This has been so lucrative for Disney that rival studios are embracing the trend. A recent example is Universal which just green lit live action remakes of its How to Train Your Dragon films:

      This is another example of capitalism in action.

      1. ““If we truly “don’t see color” then we wouldn’t bring up or be “upset” about:”

        The conservatives aren’t the folks pushing gender switching and such.

  2. Maybe it’s number one because they didn’t make the movie about a dead and returned Joanna Wick, his long lost daughter. No one wants to sit through John Woke.

    1. @PP

      Once again, someone doesn’t know what the slang term “woke’ means. Please watch Maj Toure’s great video on the topic:

      Moving on, Wick being a mentor to a daughter or protege could work. Look at Creed, which breathed new life into the Rocky films by having the Italian Stallion train the son of his dead friend, Apollo Creed. In the process, new sides of Rocky Balboa are revealed.

      Hat tip to filmmaker Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) for coming up with a fresh, clever take on the Rocky franchise.

      1. @Fred2: You have no idea what I’m talking about and you further think it’s hilariously okay to make a John Woke movie about him mentoring a daughter or protege (most likely black or gay or female or trans to fix past prejudices). Clue to the clueless: IT WON’T WORK. The timeline is the same few days he’s on the run. Where would such an opportunity present itself? John Wick’s popularity never waned. There’s no need to breathe new life into the property and a sequel with a hand me down daughter or prodigy, which will kill the series. The title on the show is clear: John Wick. We’re here to see him and no one else pay the protagonist.

      2. @PP

        The John Wick idea is about reviving the film series after it had been dormant for awhile.
        And I contend that it could work as shown by a few examples.

        * Creed which I have already covered.

        * The Legend of Zorro: this hit film renewed interested in the swashbuckling hero by having the original (Sir Anthony Hopkins) mentor his more reckless successor (Antonio Banderas).

        * Batman Beyond: this hit series has a now elderly Bruce Wayne train high school student, Terry McGinnis, to become the new Dark Knight for a cyberpunk, futuristic Gotham.

        Shifting gears, Wick’s kid not being White or straight is no big deal in light of how diverse the wide cast of characters are.

      3. ” The timeline is the same few days he’s on the run.”

        Good point.

        There were already gender non-binary people in #3. Did it help, hurt, or was it neutral? Didn’t matter to me _because_ the script didn’t make a thing out of it.

      4. “Wick being a mentor to a daughter or protege could work.”

        It _could_ work as a sequel. Not as a substitute / remake / reboot.

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