Director-actor Michael B. Jordans Creed III is a cashier.
The film opened to a better-than-expected $58.6 million domestically from 4,007 screens after earning $22 million on Friday in a big win for MGM and the Michael B. Jordan-directed Creed III in his feature film debut. Jordan also returns as Adonis Creed, a character first introduced in Ryan Coogler’s 2016 sleeper hit Creedwhich revived the legendary Rocky movie franchise.
The threequel not only scored a 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 parent Amazon as they plan an expanded movie footprint.
That Creed series has been one of MGM’s most important modern franchises, and the third installment does not disappoint. More than holding up to the first two films, it will easily score the biggest first-weekend opening of the spinoff franchise, driven by top box office results on PostTrak and an A-CinemaScore (not to mention rave reviews). Men, both younger and older, made up 62 percent of an ethnically diverse audience (39 percent Latino, 27 percent white, 20 percent Asian/other and 14 percent 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, not adjusted for inflation. The Steven Caple Jr.-directed sequel opened over the Thanksgiving corridor in 2018, grossing $56 million for the five days and $35.5 million for the three.
Creed IIIfilmed with Imax digital cameras, bumped Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania from many premium screens, including Imax locations.
The pic follows Jordan’s character as he comes out of retirement to meet up with an old friend, played by Jonathan Majors (who also garners attention for his villainous role in Quantum). Tessa Thompson, Mila Davis-Kent and Wood Harris co-star among others.
Now that Amazon owns a legacy Hollywood studio, it is in a better position than other streamers to execute a traditional theatrical release in North America. In recent weeks, Amazon Studios announced, for example, that Ben Affleck’s AIR will open in theaters around the globe, as opposed to being sent directly or almost directly to Prime Video.
Amazon protected its newfound theatrical apparatus by folding United Artists Releasing into MGM. UAR was the domestic distribution and marketing company that was formerly a co-venture between MGM and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
Among holdouts, Marvel and Disney are troubled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania fell to No. 2 with an estimated $12 million to $12.5 million from 3,825 locations. While the superhero pic has amassed a domestic war chest of more than $185 million, it tumbled another 60 percent more in its third outing.
Universal’s Elizabeth Banks-directed genre pic Cocaine bear came in at No. 3 in its second outing with $11 million from 3,570 theaters for a comfortable domestic total of $41.2 million. The film dropped a respectable 53 percent.
The anime franchise also debuts this weekend at the domestic box office Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – To Swordsmith Village (Crunchyroll), which placed No. 4 with about $10 million from 1,780 theaters, and Guy Ritchie’s action pic Operation Fortune: Cunning of War (Lionsgate, Miramax), which is looking at seventh place with an estimated $3 million from 2,168 locations.
More on the way.
5 March at 06.45: Updated with revised gross.
This story was originally published on March 4 at 6:11 a.m