John Wick: Chapter 4 scores the biggest opening weekend of the series

Yeah, we’re thinking he’s back!

John Wick: Chapter 4 opened to an impressive $73.5 million at the domestic box office this weekend, marking easily the biggest debut yet for the action franchise. This surpasses the series’ previous high of a $56.8 million opening weekend for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in 2019. 

In fact, every John Wick installment to date has improved on the previous film’s box office haul, as Chapter 2 opened to $30.4 million in 2017, and the original movie only had a $14 million domestic debut in 2014. Starring Keanu Reeves as a former hitman who goes up against a sprawling network of assassins, the John Wick franchise has gradually become an unlikely box office juggernaut. Director Chad Stahelski recently told Insider he didn’t expect to even get one sequel after “no one clapped” in the first test screening of the original movie, which only grossed $43 million domestically in its entire run. 

The latest Wick‘s opening continues a strong year for tentpole sequels that aren’t comic book movies after Scream VI and Creed III both set new opening weekend records for their franchises. Meanwhile, the two biggest superhero movies of the year so far, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, have both had somewhat disappointing performances, raising the question of whether superhero movie fatigue may be setting in. In May, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the next big test. 

Stahelski told The Hollywood Reporter that after Chapter 4, he and Reeves are “done” with John Wick movies “for the moment.” But a prequel TV series called The Continental is already headed to Peacock, and a spinoff film, Ballerina, is also on the way. So this franchise may not be out of ammo just yet. 

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Hong Kong sees 1st protest in years under strict guidelines

Hong Kong saw its first protest in three years on Sunday, as people were allowed to take to the streets for the first time since the lifting of major COVID-19 restrictions and the implementation of anti-protest laws

However, the protest was strictly watched by law enforcement, and heavily regulated with a number of guidelines. Only 100 people were allowed to attend, BBC News reported, and protesters had to wear numbered ID tags and have their signs approved in advance.

The protest was in opposition to a land reclamation plan that would see the construction of garbage-processing facilities in place of homes. 

Law enforcement cited security protocols as the reason for the strict oversight of the protests, the first since anti-COVID mandates were lifted. However, protests in Hong Kong have been rare in general since 2020, when “China imposed sweeping restrictions on the rights and freedoms of people living in the territory,” BBC News added.

The restrictions were in opposition to massive protests that swept across Hong Kong in 2019 in opposition to human rights crackdowns within the megacity. “Critics say the city’s freedom of assembly that was promised Hong Kong when it returned to China from Britain in 1997 has been eroded,” The Associated Press reported, with the government taking measures such as banning masks in order to identify protesters accused of illegal acts. 

Many of the protesters who arrived on Sunday decried the strict protocols that Hong Kong officials had required them to undergo. 

Lam Wo-ping, a 72-year-old retiree, told the South China Morning Post he was “really saddened by this arrangement … in today’s Hong Kong, going on a protest is such a difficult task.” Lam added that while many people in the neighborhood knew about the protests, “they dared not join, as they were scared of being arrested or sued, given that there were so many restrictions.”

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Biden’s pick to lead FAA withdraws nomination

Phillip Washington, President Biden’s nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has withdrawn his nomination following lackluster support in the Senate. 

Washington decided to pull his name from contention over the weekend, Reuters first reported on Saturday. Currently the CEO of Denver International Airport, Washington was nominated by Biden to be the new FAA administrator after previously serving as the president’s transportation transition head. However, he faced significant criticism from Republicans, who argued that “Washington’s slim aviation credentials and his potential legal entanglements” precluded him from leading the FAA, CNN reported. 

The Biden administration would later confirm that Washington had pulled his nomination, with White House spokesperson Abdullah Hasan telling The New York Times that “an onslaught of unfounded Republican attacks on Mr. Washington’s service and experience irresponsibly delayed this process, threatened unnecessary procedural hurdles on the Senate floor, and ultimately have led him to withdraw his nomination today.”

The White House has always maintained that Washington had the proper background to run the disgruntled FAA, with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeting that Washington’s “transportation & military experience made him an excellent nominee.” 

“The partisan attacks and procedural obstruction he has faced are undeserved, but I respect his decision to withdraw and am grateful for his service,” Buttigieg added.

The Times noted that while Washington has led the Denver Airport since 2021, “much of his career involved ground transport.”

Republicans were consistently united in opposition to Washington, but it originally appeared that Democrats would have still had the votes to push him through the Senate confirmation hearing if they desired. However, Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) called off a scheduled vote on his nomination last week, which NBC News noted is a likely sign that Washington no longer had enough Democratic support to move the nomination out of committee. 

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Actor Jonathan Majors arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman

Jonathan Majors has been arrested in New York City after allegedly assaulting a woman, according to multiple reports.

The actor’s arrest was confirmed to IndieWire by an NYPD spokesperson, who said police responded to a 911 call inside an apartment, and an investigation determined a 33-year-old male “was involved in a domestic dispute with a 30-year-old female,” who told police she was assaulted. The victim allegedly “sustained minor injuries to her head and neck and was removed to an area hospital in stable condition.” Majors was reportedly arrested on charges of strangulation, assault, and harassment. 

Additional details were provided by TMZ, which reported that the victim is Majors’ girlfriend and that the actor allegedly grabbed her hand, slapped her, and “put his hands around her neck” during an argument in a taxi after the woman “saw another woman texting Majors” and confronted him. The victim’s visible injuries included a “laceration behind her ear, redness and marks to her face,” TMZ also reported.

This comes as Majors’ star has been rising in Hollywood, and he recently starred in two films that were number one at the box office back-to-back: Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the Rocky spinoff Creed III. He has also been earning early Oscar buzz for his performance in the Sundance movie Magazine Dreams. Marvel has largely built its next several years of movies and TV shows around Majors’ character of Kang the Conqueror, who is essentially the franchise’s new Thanos-level big bad and is expected to be the villain of the next Avengers film, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Majors’ representative told IndieWire, “He has done nothing wrong. We look forward to clearing his name and clearing this up.” 

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Succession: Everything the stars and creator have said about ending the show

The beginning of the end for Succession is here. The acclaimed HBO series returns Sunday night for its final season, and in recent weeks, the creator and cast have been preparing to say goodbye. Here’s everything they’ve said about the show’s imminent end, how they knew things were wrapping up, and what we can expect from the finale: 

Creator Jesse Armstrong explained the decision to end the show 

The news that Succession will end with its fourth season was only confirmed about a month before the premiere when creator Jesse Armstrong revealed it to The New Yorker.

“You know, there’s a promise in the title of Succession,” he said. “I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind.”

Armstrong explained he came into the writers’ room for the fourth season feeling it would be the show’s last but kept his options open and held off on making a final call as long as possible. “Even when we started filming: I said to the cast, ‘I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think this is it,'” he said.

According to Armstrong, the writers considered several scenarios, including one where they’d “do a couple of short seasons, or two more seasons.” But instead, they decided to “go out sort of strong” with a “more muscular and complete” final season. Armstrong also revealed he has known his ideal ending since around season 2. For his part, HBO executive Casey Bloys said he “would have taken more” seasons if Armstrong wanted to continue, confirming there was no pressure from the network to wrap up. 

Sarah Snook didn’t know the show was ending until the last table read 

Fans were taken aback by the news that the show was ending, and it sounds like the cast didn’t necessarily know much sooner than the public did. Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv Roy, revealed to the Los Angeles Times that she wasn’t officially informed of the show’s end until the final table read in January.  

“I was very upset,” she told the Times. “I felt a huge sense of loss, disappointment, and sadness. It would have been nice to know at the beginning of the season, but I also understand not being told until the end because there was still a potential that maybe this wasn’t going to be the end.”

Snook’s co-stars have noted the cast had an idea the show might be ending during production, though, so it sounds like it’s just that the final, official confirmation didn’t come until January. 

Alan Ruck said ‘not everything is resolved’ by the end

Alan Ruck, who plays Connor Roy, told Empire that he feels this was the “right time to end” the show “in terms of the struggle to see who’s going to take command of this empire,” as a fifth season “would have been drawn out.” But “not everything is resolved” by the end of the season, much “like life itself,” he warned. Indeed, Ruck told The Hollywood Reporter that although it’s a “really satisfying” ending, “nothing is tied up with a bow for anybody,” and “you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen to some people.” Despite what Snook said, Ruck also claimed while speaking to Empire that “we’ve all known” the show was ending “since June.” 

Kieran Culkin said the show could continue after the finale

Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman Roy, teased to Extra that the way the finale plays out leaves room for more seasons. “I like where it ends, but what’s interesting about it is I feel like it could go more,” he teased. “It felt like it could end right there, or continue. Both felt good to me.” 

In fact, Culkin noted that before filming started, Armstrong told him the plot of the whole season, and though it sounded like an ending, the creator “threw out like three different ideas of where the show could go” after that before deciding to wrap it up there. 

The cast disagreed about whether there could be another season

Fitting with the idea that fans should expect a somewhat open ending, Sarah Snook told the Sydney Morning Herald that “there were members of the cast who read” the script for the finale “and went, oh well, we’re getting a fifth season,” while others “read it and went, oh, well, this is obviously the end. You can’t go beyond this.” 

She counts herself as part of the latter group, noting on The Tonight Show that the last few pages of the finale’s script confirmed to her, “This is the end.” But her co-star Matthew Macfadyen apparently disagreed, telling Snook, “Oh, I don’t think so. No, I think that’s very hopeful.” 

Snook also told Sydney Morning Herald that the “central question” of the series has always been, “Where do these characters go? What are they going to do? How do they deal with each other in the future from here?” So she teased, “Does [the final season] answer the central question? Both yes and no.”

Nicholas Braun said the ending is ‘fire’

Nicholas Braun, who plays Greg, teased to Entertainment Tonight that the show’s ending “is fire.” But the cast is “pretty bummed” that this is the final season, he said, adding that he was “sad as hell” on his last day. Braun also clarified that the cast “had an idea” the show was ending during production, but “you don’t believe it until Jesse says it.” 

Matthew Macfadyen feels ‘slight relief’ about the show ending

Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom, told The New York Times he has a “complicated mélange of feelings” about saying goodbye to Succession. “It’s a weird thing, the grief when you finish a job,’ he said. “It’s sort of awful and heartbreaking, but at the same time, there’s a slight relief.” 

Jeremy Strong feels the show’s arc has ‘run its course’

Jeremy Strong, who has famously gone to great lengths to immerse himself in his character of Kendall Roy, told GQ that saying goodbye to the character “will feel like a death, in a way.” That being said, Strong “had a hope” that the show might end this season, he told TV Line.

“I feel, in the best possible sense, a feeling of completion, and a feeling of the arc having run its course,” he said. “I was ready for it to be over, which doesn’t mean that I don’t experience it as a huge loss.” 

Strong also teased to Entertainment Weekly that performing in the final episode, “the culmination of everything, where Jesse really brings everything to its crisis,” was “like a double black diamond to go down,” which was “incredibly fulfilling.” 

Brian Cox teased Logan ‘gets what he needs’

In true Logan Roy style, Brian Cox hasn’t sounded as wistful about the show’s end as his co-stars. He even told Variety he “felt nothing” filming his final scene. 

“Nothing! It was the last scene, finito,” Cox said. “Logan absolutely gets what he needs. That’s the great thing about the show. He gets peace, which is good.” 

The actor also told Entertainment Tonight he’s “happy it’s over” and was “delighted” by the way the series concludes.  “I think we’ve got to the point where the show has reached its natural closure,” he said. “A lot of shows outstay their welcome, and I think our show is perfect, and neat, in the way it is.”

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6 marvelous homes with great kitchens

Santa Fe, New Mexico


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The chef’s kitchen of this Pueblo-style home is designed for entertaining, with two islands, counter seating, wet bar, wine room, and butler’s pantry. The five-­bedroom house has beamed ­ceilings, flagstone floors, kiva-style fireplaces, great room with see-through fireplace, primary suite with library–­media room, and an interior courtyard.


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The garden-­landscaped hillside lot includes a patio with adobe fireplace and an infinity pool on the edge of a terrace with sweeping views. $4,750,000. Neil D. Lyon, ­Sotheby’s International Realty – Santa Fe, (505) 660-8600.

Encino, California


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This open-plan home’s gourmet kitchen features a wine display, walk-in and butler’s pantries, and a wall of glass, shared with the living room, overlooking the valley and mountains. The house also has a ­separate dining room with fireplace and floating staircase, and five en suite bedrooms, including a main suite with a mountain-view, spa-style bath.


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An entertaining area with terrace, lawn, and infinity pool perches above the valley; Mulholland Drive is minutes away. $5,495,000. Kevin Pane, Sotheby’s International Realty–Sherman Oaks, (310) 308-7595.

New York City, New York


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The kitchen in this gut-­renovated 1869 loft was created by a designer known for high-end hotel and restaurant projects. The full-floor four-bedroom apartment has oak floors, 14-foot ceilings, wood built-ins, and a huge entertaining space including the chef’s kitchen, with top-name appliances, slate island, and custom cabinetry, and a living room with 9-foot-high south-facing windows.


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The building is steps from shops, markets, restaurants, parks, and transportation. $4,495,000. Cherie M. Hinson, Sotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan, (305) 588-2985.

Heath, Texas


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This six-­bedroom home has kitchens indoors and out. The house features a gourmet interior kitchen, with ­commercial-grade range, expansive bar and counters, built-ins, two dishwashers, and island with sink; a wine grotto; a wet bar; a living-dining room; a primary suite with jetted tub, dual closets, and private outdoor entrance; and game, media, and exercise rooms.


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The 2.4-acre property includes a floodlit multisport court with stadium ­seating; a pool with waterfall, central firepit, and spa; a pond; fruit trees; and a covered dining patio with an outdoor kitchen equipped with a grill, infrared heater, and refrigerator. $3,499,000. Vicky Chesna, Coldwell Banker Realty, (972) 772-1504.

Darien, Connecticut


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The high-end kitchen of this six-­bedroom home includes marble counters, walk-in and butler’s pantries, and a waterfall island with sink, dishwasher, custom drawers, and storage. The house has 10-foot ceilings, a two-story foyer, a forged-iron stairway, living and dining rooms, a study, a primary suite with cathedral ceiling and fireplace, and a multiuse finished lower level.


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The 1.2-acre lot with landscaped yard and pool is near beaches and is an easy commute to Manhattan. $4,785,000 Bruce Baker, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, (203) 655-8234.

Townsend, Massachusetts 


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This 1830 four-­­bedroom home features a big eat-in kitchen with cathedral ceiling and exposed beams, anchored by two central stoves, one modern and one vintage converted to modern fuel. Also on the main floor are multiple living rooms, a dining room, a primary bedroom with bath, and a laundry; ­upstairs are three bedrooms and bath, plus a walk-up attic; and a finished barn area has a separate entrance, full bath, gas stove, and attic with pull-down stairs.


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Outside are a back porch, a large backyard, and a two-story shed. $430,000. Mary ­McCauley, Keller ­Williams Realty – ­Merrimack Valley, (978) 496-6739.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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