Director-actor Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III is a box office champion.
The film opened to a better-than-expected $58.6 million from 4,007 screens after grossing $22 million on Friday in a big win for MGM and Michael B. Jordan, who directed Creed III in his first feature film. Jordan also returns as Adonis Creed, a character first introduced in Ryan Coogler’s 2016 sleeper hit. Creedwho revived the legendary Rocky film franchise.
The threequel not only marked the series’ best debut, but is the biggest sports movie opening in history, according to MGM.
Creed III – which will easily win the weekend – opens at a critical time for MGM and its parent company Amazon as they carve out an expanded cinematic footprint.
THE Creed The series has been one of MGM’s most important modern franchises, and the third installment doesn’t disappoint. It holds up longer than the first two films and will easily score the spin-off franchise’s biggest first weekend opening, fueled by top release scores on PostTrak and an A-CinemaScore (not to mention rave reviews). Men, young and old, made up 62% of an ethnically diverse audience (39% Latino, 27% White, 20% Asian/Other, and 14% Black), according to PostTrak.
Creed propelled its way to a $42.1 million domestic opening over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday in 2015, including $29 million for the three-day weekend, unadjusted for inflation. The Steven Caple Jr.-directed sequel opened in the Thanksgiving Hall in 2018, grossing $56 million for five days and $35.5 million for three.
Creed IIIfilmed with Imax digital cameras, bumped Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania off many premium screens, including Imax locations.
The pic follows Jordan’s character as he comes out of retirement to confront an old friend, played by Jonathan Majors (who is also noted for his villainous role in Quantum). Tessa Thompson, Mila Davis-Kent and co-star Wood Harris, among others.
Now that Amazon has a legacy Hollywood studio, it’s in a better position than other streamers to execute a mainstream theatrical release in North America. In recent weeks, for example, Amazon Studios announced that Ben Affleck AIR will open in theaters around the world, instead of going straight, or nearly straight, to Prime Video.
Amazon protected its new theatrical apparatus by integrating United Artists Releasing into MGM. UAR was the national distribution and marketing company that was previously a joint venture between MGM and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
Among the remnants, Marvel and Disney are troubled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fell to No. 2 with an estimate of $12–12.5 million from 3,825 locations. While the superhero pic amassed a national war chest of over $185 million, it still dropped another 60% on its third outing.
Universal’s genre shot by Elizabeth Banks cocaine bear came in at No. 3 in its second release with $11 million from 3,570 theaters for a pleasing domestic total of $41.2 million. The film lost a respectable 53%.
The anime franchise installment also debuts this weekend at the domestic box office Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – At the Blacksmith Village (Crunchyroll), which ranked #4 with approximately $10 million from 1,780 theaters, and Guy Ritchie’s action pic Operation Fortune: Cunning of War (Lionsgate, Miramax), which is eyeing a seventh-place finish with an estimated $3 million from 2,168 locations.
March 5, 6:45 a.m.: Updated with major revisions.
This story was originally published March 4 at 6:11 a.m.