‘Dungeons & Dragons’ opens with $38.5M, takes down John Wick

Apr 2, 2023, 12:15 PM

Roger Gonzalez and Gaby Camacho, interview Sophia Lillis (C), at the Mexico City premiere of Paramo...

Roger Gonzalez and Gaby Camacho, interview Sophia Lillis (C), at the Mexico City premiere of Paramount Pictures' and eOne's "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" at Cinepolis Universidad on March 29, 2023 in Mexico City, . (Photo by Antonio Torres/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by Antonio Torres/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

NEW YORK (AP) — Riding terrific reviews and a strong word-of-mouth, the role playing game adaptation “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” opened with $38.5 million in U.S. and Canadian movie theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday, stealing the top box-office perch from “John Wick: Chapter 4.”

The Paramount Pictures and eOne release appealed to more moviegoers than many expected a film based on a notoriously niche table top game to interest. “Game Night” directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley turned in a rollicking comic action-adventure, with a cast including Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page and Hugh Grant, that’s bringing in ticket buyers less familiar with “D&D.” Audiences gave “Honor Among Thieves,” which launched with a raucous opening-night premiere at SXSW, an A- CinemaScore. It scored 91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

“We know how good our movie is,” said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Paramount. “I know it’s been said before, but I think opening to $38-39 million is just the start. These kind of exits polls translate to playability.”

“Dungeons & Dragons” was also a big roll of the dice. The film, co-produced and co-financed by Paramount with eOne, which is owned by Hasbro, cost $150 million to make. With a production cost like that, “Dungeons & Dragons” will be looking for sustained sales through April and similar success overseas to potentially kickstart a new franchise. It launched internationally with $33 million.

“The challenge with this film is convincing everyone that this film is for you,” said Aronson. “Jonathan and John, these guys are really talented and great collaborators. We’re going to work more with them. Hopefully, this will be the start of a franchise.”

“John Wick: Chapter 4,” which launched last weekend with a franchise-best $73.5 million, slid to second place in its second weekend with $28.2 million. While a sizeable dip, the assassin action film, starring Keanu Reeves, has already accrued $122.8 million domestically and, after adding another $35 million internationally over the weekend, $245 million worldwide. Lionsgate has no shortage of plans for further expansion in the franchise.

Along with “John Wick: Chapter 4,” “Creed III” and “Scream VI,” “Dungeons & Dragons” adds to a string of well-received March releases that have surpassed box-office expectations and scored well with audiences. It’s a streak that Universal Pictures’ “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” will look to continue next weekend.

“While it may not be the highest grossing March ever, this is one of the best months of March for the industry in its history, coming off of three years of a pandemic-challenged marketplace,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for data firm Comscore. “March is not the summer, but it’s sure felt like the summer, with hit after hit.”

Those film have helped push the 2023 box office well ahead of last year’s pace, up 28.7%, according to David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research. Still, overall ticket sales aren’t yet up to pre-pandemic levels, trailing the 2017-2019 average by 28.8%.

Games and toys are also proving to be dependable big-screen resources. “Dungeons & Dragons” will be followed this year by Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and a new “Transformers” movie. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is expected to extend a rising trend for the once-derided video game adaptation.

“Dungeons & Dragons” had little competition from new releases. The Christian drama “His Only Son” debuted with $5.3 million. A.V. Rockwell’s Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner “A Thousand and One,” about a mother (Teyana Taylor) who kidnaps her son from foster care, opened with $1.8 million at 926 theaters for Focus Features.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1.”Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” $38.5 million.
2. “John Wick, Chapter 4,” $28.2 million.
3. “Scream VI,” $5.3 million. (Tie)
3. “His Only Son,” $5.3 million. (Tie)
5. “Creed III,” $5 million.
6. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” $4.7 million.
7. “A Thousand and One,” $1.8 million.
8. “65,” $1.6 million.
9. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” $1.2 million.
10. “Jesus Revolution,” $1 million.

KSL 5 TV Live


FILE - Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Res...

Christopher Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Federal Reserve is likely to scale back plans for rate cuts because of still-elevated inflation

Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday will likely make official what’s been clear for many weeks: With inflation sticking at a level above their 2% target, they’re downgrading their outlook for interest rate cuts.

3 hours ago

FILE - Los Angeles Lakers coach Jerry West sits on the Lakers' bench in Los Angeles, Jan. 28, 1977....

TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the inspiration for the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, who was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame three times in a storied career as a player and executive, and whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Clippers announced.

4 hours ago

PENDLETON, OR - SEPTEMBER 16: A bull is ushered back in to a pen at the bull riding event at the Pe...

Claire Rush, Associated Press

Bull that jumped the fence at Oregon rodeo forced to retire from competition, owner says

The bull who jumped out of the arena at an Oregon rodeo, sending the audience into a frenzy, has been forced to retire from competition. The 3-year-old bull, named Party Bus, jumped the fence during a bull riding event at the Sisters Rodeo in central Oregon on Saturday.

16 hours ago

YEONCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 08:  (SOUTH KOREA OUT) A loudspeaker is seen at a military base ne...

Associated Press

Bizarre psychological warfare using K-pop and trash balloons raises tensions between the 2 Koreas

Day after day, the Cold War-style yet bizarre campaigns continue at the heavily fortified border of the rivals who haven’t had any serious talks for years. Here is a look at the latest flare-up of tensions between the two Koreas.

19 hours ago

FILE - A person holds a sign with Joey Chestnut's face during the 2023 Nathan's Famous Fourth of Ju...

Cedar Attanasio, The Associated Press

Joey Chestnut out of July 4 hot dog eating contest due to deal with rival brand

America’s perennial hot dog swallowing champion won’t compete in this year’s Independence Day competition due to a contract dispute, organizers said Tuesday.

22 hours ago

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JUNE 11: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, joined by his wife M...

Randall Chase, Claudia Lauer, Michael Kunzelman and Alanna Durkin Richer

President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is convicted of all 3 felonies in federal gun trial

President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden is convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ opens with $38.5M, takes down John Wick