The John Wick franchise has now officially joined the $1 billion club, almost ten years after the first movie was released. Directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, the first John Wick introduced audiences to Keanu Reeves’ titular assassin in 2014, following the character as he kills dozens of bad guys to get revenge for the death of his puppy. The franchise has only grown since then, with John Wick: Chapter 4 releasing earlier this year to rave reviews and a strong showing at the box office.
Now, per a new report from Deadline, John Wick: Chapter 4‘s box office performance has officially propelled the Lionsgate franchise past the $1 billion mark worldwide, with the total now sitting at a lofty $1,011,319,297. The fourth film remains the highest earning yet with $425.3M and counting, followed by John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($326.7M), John Wick: Chapter 2 ($171.54M), and then the original movie at $87.8M.
John Wick’s Box Office Success Explained
On the surface, the first John Wick movie wasn’t all that different from a host of other lower-budget action flicks starring aging male actors. When it came to execution, however, the film quickly set itself apart from everything else in its genre. Directed by former stuntmen and featuring a highly-trained Reeves in a role in which he does many of his own stunts, the movie’s balletic action wowed audiences and its underground network of assassins begged for further exploration.
Leitch didn’t return for John Wick: Chapter 2 in 2017, but Stahelski did, doubling down on what audiences loved about the first movie and expanding the world in some exciting ways. Reeves kills more bad guys in even more creative ways than in the first movie, and the franchise’s signature brand of action is taken to an entirely new level. In addition to serving as a perfect vehicle for Reeves, who had remained a likable but underserved leading man in the 2010s, the franchise featured a type of action filmmaking that had never been seen before.
The third movie proves that the first two weren’t flukes, introducing new characters and digging deeper into the choreography than ever before, featuring fewer but more creative kills than its predecessor. John Wick: Chapter 4 is arguably the best film of the lot, boasting a stacked cast and pulling off set pieces that are genuinely jaw-dropping. While the latest film was designed to serve as the end of the road for Reeves’ assassin, it’s hard to imagine that the John Wick franchise will stay dormant for long after passing this new milestone.