The numbers are down and it looks like Creed 3 is ready for a knockout this weekend. The MGM and Amazon Studios produced film is now the highest-grossing Rocky and Creed entry of the franchise, which bodes well for the franchise’s future. The biggest aspect is that the film is poised to pull in $150M over its run putting git ahead of the first two entries and marking a big move forward for Michael B. Jordan‘s directorial debut. As of now, it is also the highest debut ever for a sports film.
Amazon recently purchased MGM which had some worried that this might end up with a too quick streaming turnaround, but this performance may force Amazon to rethink that strategy and could become another long-term showcase of the importance of theatrical releases. Marvel Studios and Disney’s animated fare have taken quite a bit of damage from the “45-day” streaming window with strong frontloading for the former and a general lack of visits for the latter. Either way, Creed 3 is making a powerful stand and may hopefully also make Netflix realize what they missed out on with Glass Onion during Thanksgiving.
It also was a smart move to move the film away from Wakanda Forever, as it was originally set for Thanksgiving and got the chance to open the March market which has more staying power than the usual calm February (with some exceptions like the strong openers of Deadpool, Black Panther, and recently Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumnania). March is going to be a competitive market that may push the overall box office for this year forward even if projections still don’t see a return to 2019’s bombastic era.
Another strong performance this weekend was Crunchyroll’s Demon Slayer Into the Swordsmith Village, which pulled in $10.1M. It’s interesting how strong the Friday openings are for Anime openings as it calms down heavily over the weekend after they moved from $4.1M to $3.4M on Saturday. The big ouch of the weekend is the long-awaited opening for Guy Richtie‘s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre which only opened to $3.1M opening.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania held on as much as it could ending the weekend with $12M, which isn’t going to break any records but does mean the film simply hasn’t had the same hold as other pictures. It’s developing closer to Batman v Superman domestically without a much stronger international push. While many are going to call this “the end”, it simply shows an interesting trend. Marvel films are strong openers and extremely frontloaded but if word-of-mouth simply is tepid or mixed, most will wait for that Disney+ release. Plus, the heavy sci-fi direction ma simply just does not jell with the usual “simplicity” of a former palate cleanser franchise.
Still, Cocaine Bear took the third spot after a decent second weekend. It’s B- CinemaScore didn’t hit it too hard as it still held on for a genre piece which usually drops 60% or worse on the second weekend but it may still be holding on to some online fanfare. We haven’t had a good or just pure “fun” slasher in a while, which may be pushing the film further even as the general audience has mixed feelings about the offering. Overall, still a strong weekend overall for the box office.