The John Wick franchise has become increasingly successful with each consecutive release, and John Wick: Chapter 4 has broken the series’ long-running IMDb trend. The original 2014 movie follows the titular former assassin (Keanu Reeves), who comes out of retirement to avenge his dog and retrieve his car, killing almost a hundred expendable henchmen in the process. It was an instant hit, and while it was originally planned as a standalone movie, Lionsgate developed more sequels and built a huge, almost fantastical world. When it comes to action franchises, there’s nothing else quite like it.
The fourth entry into the high-octane series had the highest-grossing opening weekend, breaking records for the John Wick series, and it has the highest-rated Rotten Tomatoes score of the films too, as it sits at a massive 94%. And though it had a 62% drop-off at the box office in its second weekend, it’s still more than likely that it’ll surpass John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum as the highest-grossing John Wick film overall. But as the wildly consistent series has always been a huge audience pleaser, the movie’s biggest achievement when it comes to general audiences is its IMDb score.
The First 3 John Wick Movies Are All Rated 7.4
John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2, and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum all have the exact same 7.4 score on IMDb, which speaks to the remarkably consistent quality of the series. While some prefer the emotional story and stakes of the first movie, some prefer the world building of the second movie, and others prefer the outrageous stunts of the third movie. Overall, they’re all just as well-liked as one other. However, John Wick: Chapter 4 currently has an 8.3 on the movie database, sailing past the 7.4 barrier.
It’s hard to reach an 8.0 on the website, and the fourquel is the only 2023 movie to achieve it. It’s even currently in IMDb’s Top 250 list, sitting at #145. But just like with all newly released movies, recency bias, and hype has to be factored in when looking at John Wick: Chapter 4’s IMDb score. The score will likely drop as more time passes, especially as people who saw it early in its theatrical run were likely huge fans of the franchise. However, given its overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics too, it likely won’t drop that much, and there’s no chance of it dropping to 7.4.
The John Wick Series Also Holds A Rare Rotten Tomatoes Record
Just like the series’ box office performances, the franchise has staircase-like critical scores. All the movies are rated fresh, and each one is rated higher than the last. John Wick has a rating of 86%, John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum both have a score of 89%, and John Wick: Chapter 4 has the highest rating with 94%. This is completely unprecedented, and while some fourquels might be considered the best of the franchise, such as Mad Max: Fury Road, no other four-movie franchise has gotten better and better critic scores with each consecutive release.
Why The John Wick Series Is So Consistent
John Wick’s success with critics and audiences is all thanks to how low-budget the first movie was. As John Wick only cost $20 million to make and ended up being a hit, that meant that Lionsgate could double the budget and it would still be extremely low risk for the studio. With Lionsgate being able to continuously double the budget with each film, the franchise was only going to get bigger and better. It also helps that director Chad Stahelski can get a lot out of relatively small budgets, as John Wick: Chapter 4 is a huge, globetrotting event that looks like it cost $200 million, but it cost half that.
Stahelski was a stunt coordinator for decades before becoming a director, which means that few other action movies will ever be as impressive as the John Wick series, especially John Wick: Chapter 4. Both Stahelski and Reeves are clearly dedicated to the series and protecting the brand too. Reeves has noted that he’ll only return if Stahelski does, and Stahelski refused to shoot John Wick 4 and 5 back-to-back out of fear that there’d be a significant drop in quality. However, with Lionsgate attempting to create countless John Wick spin-offs, the series likely won’t keep up its consistency. If the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proved anything, it’s that higher quantity means lower quality.
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