The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film & TV Festival held annually in Austin, Texas on Monday aired the premier of ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ which was graced by the unprecedented presence of star actor Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski.
Keanu Reeves gifts fans a secret John Wick 4 screening
The announcement of the premiere began as a special screening nicknamed “Baba Yaga” which was soon unveiled to be the screening of fourthquel of Lionsgate’s famous action franchise, John Wick, which stars actor Keanu Reeves.
The film had already held its world premiere earlier this week in London followed by subsequent screenings in Berlin, Osaka, and Paris, all of which garnered rave reviews, and was now making a debut in the USA at the SXSW.
The premiere was preceded by a lot of buzz and messaging that gave instructions for fans to find a special contact, dressed in an all-black suit, on the streets around the Paramount Theatre in order to receive one of the 20 tickets to the special screening, or a consolation coin for those who were too late.
JOHN WICK 4#SXSW
MONDAY 3/13, 5PM
Find their street team for a special ticket
BABA YAGA pic.twitter.com/ysy3XyHM6G
— The Dirty Team (@partywithdirty) March 13, 2023
The lucky few were granted access to the screening where they joined an audience of over 1000 fans. To their surprise, they were received by none other than Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski who did the honors of introducing the film.
The theatre was filled with rolling cheers as the fans could not hide their excitement and adoration for the movie which was an astounding success even before it was played.
The movie is about 2 hrs and 50 minutes long, making it the longest of the films in the John Wick franchise, with every hour being characterized by a lengthy action scene with chaos, mayhem, and violence. This chapter received a lot of love featuring a standing ovation during the credits.
Star actor Reeves donned a black suit which is John Wick’s signature look in the film. After the screening, he took the stage where he expressed his appreciation to the audience saying, “You guys are amazing. Thanks for that experience. You guys are fucking awesome.”
The screening was followed by a Q&A session where Reeves revealed that he held the character’s watch and wedding ring as souvenirs after which a fan shouted, “I’ll marry you!”. In response, he said, “Yeah, be careful what you wish for.”
When asked, Reeves said that his favorite part of the movie was when the character Wick takes a quiet moment to remember his wife. Stahleski, on the other hand, answered “For me, it was the first day Keanu came on set. He had the suit back on and it was the first time we were back together in three years. So it was pretty special.”
A fan also asked Stakleski what he wanted his legacy to be and the director answered, “This” in reference to the experience of having fans watch his work. He also cites The Warrior by Walter Hill and samurai movies by Sergio Leone when asked about the inspiration for this chapter.
The John Wick Franchise’s Numbers
The first John Wick debuted in October 2014 with a meager $14.4 million and went on to gross $86 million globally on a $20 million budget after opening with $43 million domestically and $43 million internationally.
Each of the follow-up movies has increased in popularity since then, with 2017’s John Wick: Chapter 2 opening to $30.4 million on its way to $92 million domestically and $171.5 million globally from a rumored $40 million budget.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, which had a $75 million budget, debuted in 2019 to a strong $56.8 million domestic gross and $328.3 million globally.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is expected to debut at the domestic box office on March 24 with a record-breaking $60 million to $70 million.
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