‘Creed 3’ Sets Franchise Box Office Record With $51 Million Debut

“Creed III” emerged victorious at the box office with its impressive $58.7 million debut, setting a franchise record while dethroning two-time champ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

Heading into the weekend, “Creed III” was projected to earn $36 million to $40 million, which already would have been enough to establish a new high-water mark. The first “Creed,” which re-launched the decades-old “Rocky” films in 2015, powered to $29.6 million, while its 2018 sequel “Creed II” opened to $35.5 million.

But the third installment, directed by series star Michael B. Jordan in his feature filmmaking debut, got a boost from stellar reviews and strong audience scores. Initial ticket buyers, who awarded the film an “A-” CinemaScore, were 63% male while 55% were between the ages of 18 and 34. “Creed III” also benefitted from pricer Imax tickets (a huge 38% of business came from premium large format screens), as well as a better-than-expected turnout on Friday with $22 million alone.

“Michael did an excellent job launching this film and, in doing so, offer further proof that the box office is back and ready to support this year’s strong, diversified slate,” says Imax CEO Rich Gelfond.

The $75 million-budgeted “Creed III” is the most expensive film in the trilogy (its predecessors cost $35 million and $50 million, respectively), but it already appears to be well positioned in its theatrical run.

Jordan returns as Adonis Creed, son of boxing legend Apollo Creed, in the latest installment, which picks up as he’s tending to his career and family life. But when his childhood pal and former boxing prodigy (played by Jonathan Majors) resurfaces after serving a long prison sentence, the former friends put their futures on the line to face off in the ring.

“After six ‘Rockys’ and two previous ‘Creeds,’ the story continues to resonate and business is up — it’s impressive,” says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “Weekends like this are good news for the industry.”

It’s a big weekend for Majors, who stars in the No. 1 and No. 2 movies at the domestic box office. In a distant second place, Marvel’s superhero adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” collected roughly $12 million from 3,825 venues, marking a 61% decline. So far, the movie — led by Paul Rudd as the title Avenger — has generated $186 million in North America, outpacing the original “Ant-Man,” which ended its theatrical run with $180 million domestically. It’ll likely also surpass the 2018 sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which left North American theaters with $216 million.

At No. 3, Universal’s horror-comedy “Cocaine Bear” added $11 million from 3,571 theaters in its second weekend of release, a 53% drop from its debut. The blood-splattered animal adventure, directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring a bear on (you guessed it) cocaine, has grossed a solid $41 million to date.

Crunchyroll’s “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba: To the Swordsmith Village” opened in fourth place with $10.1 million from 1,774 venues, landing on the higher end of expectations.

Lionsgate’s religious drama “Jesus Revolution” rounded out the top five with $8.3 million from 2,575 theaters in its sophomore outing, a 47% drop from its opening weekend.

More to come…

More to come…

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