Paramount Pictures and eOne’s adaptation of the role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” had a strong opening weekend in North American theaters, grossing $38.5 million, according to studio estimates released Sunday. This success allowed the movie to overtake “John Wick: Chapter 4” in the top box-office spot.

The film, directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the duo behind “Game Night,” presented an action-packed comedic adventure, featuring a talented cast such as Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, and Hugh Grant, that appealed to both fans of the “Dungeons & Dragons” game and newcomers. The movie earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences and received a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Despite its high production costs of $150 million, Paramount and eOne are hoping that sustained sales throughout April and continued success overseas will lead to the creation of a new franchise. The film also launched internationally with $33 million.

Chris Aronson, the distribution chief for Paramount, stated, “We know how good our movie is. I think opening to $38-39 million is just the start.” Aronson also mentioned that he hopes to collaborate further with Goldstein and Daley on future projects.

Meanwhile, “John Wick: Chapter 4,” which had a franchise-best opening weekend of $73.5 million, slipped to second place in its second weekend, earning $28.2 million. Despite the decline, the film, starring Keanu Reeves, has already earned $122.8 million domestically and $245 million worldwide, including another $35 million internationally over the weekend. Lionsgate is eager to continue expanding the franchise.

“Dungeons & Dragons,” “Creed III,” and “Scream VI” are among the well-received March releases that have exceeded box-office expectations and delighted audiences. Universal Pictures’ upcoming “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is expected to continue this trend.

According to senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian of data firm Comscore, this string of hit films has helped to push the 2023 box office 28.7% ahead of last year’s pace. However, ticket sales are still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels by 28.8%.

Moreover, toys and games are proving to be reliable resources for the film industry. This year, we can expect to see “Barbie” by Greta Gerwig, another “Transformers” movie, and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

Competing new releases like the Christian drama “His Only Son” and A.V. Rockwell’s Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner “A Thousand and One” about a mother who kidnaps her son from foster care, debuted with $5.3 million and $1.8 million respectively.

Finally, the estimated ticket sales for the weekend at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore, are as follows:

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

With information from Associated Press.

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