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Box Office: Michael B. Jordan’s ‘Creed III’ Grabs Title With Series-Best $51M Opening



Director-actor Michael B. Jordan’s Creed III is a box office champ.

If early estimates hold, the movie is on course to open to a better-than-expected $51.1 million domestically in a win for MGM and Michael B. Jordan, who directed. Creed III in his feature debut. Jordan also returns in the role of Adonis Creed, a character first introduced in Ryan Coogler’s 2016 sleeper hit. Creedwhich revived the legendary Rocky film franchise.

Creed III — which will easily win the weekend — opens at a critical juncture for MGM and parent Amazon as they plot an expanded film footprint.

The Creed series has been one of MGM’s most important modern-day franchises, and the third installment isn’t disappointing. It is more than holding when compared to the first two films, and will easily score the biggest first weekend opening of the spinoff franchise, fueled by top exit scores on PostTrak and an A- CinemaScore (not to mention glowing reviews).

Creed powered 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 IIIwhich was filmed with Imax digital cameras, is bumping Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania off of many premium screens, including Imax locations.

The pic follows Jordan’s character as he comes out of retirement to face off with an old friend, played by Jonathan Majors (who is also garnering notice for his villainous role in Quantumania). 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, for example, Amazon Studios announced that Ben Affleck’s AIR will open in theaters across the globe, versus being sent straight, or almost straight, to Prime Video.

Amazon protected its new-found theatrical apparatus by folding United Artists Releasing, the domestic distribution and marketing company that was previously a co-venture between MGM and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, into MGM.

Also debuting this weekend is the anime franchise installment Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village (Crunchyroll) and Guy Ritchie’s action pic Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre (Lionsgate, Miramax), which launched to $220,000 on Thursday from 2,168 locations. The two films are expected to open in the single digits.

More to come.

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