Photo: Niko Tavernise (Lionsgate)

Look, we don’t want to get into a whole thing here about whether Keanu Reeves’ super-assassin John Wick could beat The Avengers in a fight. (We’d much rather save that sort of idle internet speculation for our new spec script, John Wick Vs. Dracula 2: Dracula Is Also A Cyborg Now.) But it’s becoming clearer by the minute that Baba Yaga is about to take Earth’s mightiest heroes down in at least one arena: The box office, where John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum is on track to be the film that finally unseats Avengers: Endgame from its weekend earnings throne.

As with any good throwdown against an ostensibly superior opponent, Wick’s win this weekend comes down largely to timing; Endgame—which continues to close the gap between itself and all-time champ Avatar—has now been in theaters for four weeks, and is finally ready to start relinquishing its gaudily gauntleted grip on people’s hearts and minds. (Relatively, anyway; it’s still expected to bring in a not-inconsiderable $29 million this weekend.) Rival studios pretty much got out of the superhero blockbuster’s way for its first two weeks, because there’s nothing quite so demoralizing as having audiences ignore your movie in favor of watching a 3-hour Disney opus for the third or fourth bladder-ruining time. Now, though, Parabellum has taken aim on a $55 million opening weekend, and when John Wick aims at something, he typically hits it—whether it’s a box office milestone, or the still-beating heart chip of that notorious cyber-monster, DR4CU7A 2.0.

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