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411 Box Office Report: Creed III Breaks Out, Wins Weekend With $58 Million

March 5, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
CREED III Image Credit: Eli Ade/MGM

The battle at the box office was an easy win for Creed III, which heavily overperformed to take the top spot. The Michael B. Jordan-directed third entry in the franchise claimed #1 with $58.7 million, performing way about the $35 million to $40 million it was expected to do coming into the weekend. This is by far the biggest opening for the franchise, beating Creed II’s $35.6 million start in November of 2018, and the second-best opening of Jordan’s career behind only Black Panther.

The start is a huge one for MGM and United Artists, who bet big on the third film in the Rocky spinoff series. Jordan made his directorial debut on the film and of course starred as well. The Creed series has been a big one for MGM and the $75 million production investment in this entry paid off nicely. Critics largely loved the film, with an 87% aggregated score on Rotten Tomatoes which is a slight uptick from Creed II’s 83%. But more to the point, audiences loved it. The film has a franchise-best 96% audience rating on RT and a stellar A- CinemaScore, which is reflected in the strong day-to-day holds throughout the weekend.

The question now is, how high can Creed III fly? It’s also important to note that the film pulled in a great $41.8 million in its overseas start for a $100.5 million worldwide take. Domestically, the Creed films have wavered around a 3.5 multiple of their openings, and that would suggest a $200 million final domestic take. But those films also had the benefit of running through the holidays, which is always a boon to box office legs. Still, at this point it is hard to imagine that the film won’t gross at least $150 million domestically, which would be a franchise best and make this film a nice hit for the studios.

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania followed up last weekend’s heavy drop with another big slip in weekend three. The MCU film brought in $12.5 million, off 61% from last weekend, to bring its totals to $186.8 million domestically and $419.6 million worldwide. The film is still going to be a hit, but it’s now targeting around $225 million as a domestic final which might be a bit of a disappointment for Marvel and Disney.

On the other hand, Cocaine Bear had a pretty good hold in its second weekend. The action comedy brought in $11 million, down 52% from its opening weekend. That’s quite good for a film that rode into theaters on a lot of hype and was expected to be fairly front-loaded. Cocaine Bear has now grossed $41.3 million domestically and $52 million worldwide, solid numbers putting it well on the path to profitability against a $30 million production budget. The film should be able to top $60 million without much difficulty in the US.

Crunchyroll’s latest big-screen anime offering was Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village. The animated action-adventure scored $10.1 million, down significantly from Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train’s $22.8 million opening in April of 2021.

Part of the problem is that To the Swordsmith Village is simply not going over as well as its predecessor. While Mugen Train has a 99% audience rating on RT and scored with critics, To the Swordsmith Village barely registered on critics’ radar and has a lukewarm 68% audience rating. Like most anime, this one opened in Japan first so audience word tends to get out quite quickly for domestic audiences. Add in the fact that To the Swordsmith Village has much more competition than Mugen Train did and you have a recipe for a much lower opening. To the Swordsmith Village has grossed $35.1 million worldwide at this point.

Jesus Revolution had a decent hold in its second weekend as it brought in $8.7 million, down just 46% from its opening frame. The faith-based drama from Lionsgate has now grossed $30.5 million, doing well against a $15 million budget, and should be able to hit around $50 million domestically by the time it leaves theaters.

Avatar: The Way Of Water’s fell to #6 in its 12th weekend with $3.6 million, down 26%. The sci-fi blockbuster film is now up to $670.6 million domestically and $2.281 billion worldwide, obviously a massive hit, and should close out around $680 million domestically.

Guy Ritchie’s latest film Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre got off to a mild start as expected. The Jason Statham-starring action flick brought in $3.2 million in its opening weekend. That’s right around where it was predicted to do thanks to a middling reaction (52% critic score on RT) and a light marketing push.

It’s not a great start for the film, but it is also worth noting that the whole situation was muddled by STX restructuring itself financially. That situation led to the film being stuck in limbo, and it only got a release date a couple of weeks ago. As such, it was never expected to be a box office hit. Operation Fortune is in a 17-day theatrical window, with the goal being to use the theatrical attention to goose home profits. That means we won’t see this lasting long in the top 10, and it should probably close out around $8 million or so domestically. It has an additional $30.8 million overseas for a $33.9 million worldwide take thus far.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish continued to hang in there, down 34% to $2.7 million in its 11th weekend. The animated sequel has now grossed $177.1 million domestically and $453.6 million worldwide, huge against a $90 million budget. It will likely top $185 million by the end of its run.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance was down 59% in its fourth weekend to $1.2 million. The third film in the franchise now stands at $25.4 million domestically and $52.4 million worldwide, unlikely to find profit in theaters against a $40 million budget. The film is already available to rent from digital outlets and is likely to end its domestic run at around $30 million.

80 For Brady held onto a top 10 spot for one more week, down 56% in its fifth weekend to $845,000. The sports comedy has grossed $38.3 million domestically, with $40 million still the likely final tally. International grosses should a push it to a mild profit against a $28 million budget.

Next weekend will likely Creed III take a backseat to Scream VI. The slasher sequel is aiming for around $35 million to $40 million in its opening weekend. Also opening are the new Adam Driver-led sci-fi film 65 (aiming for around $10 million) and the Woody Harrelson sports comedy Champions, which should be in the mid-single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Creed III – $58.7 million ($58.7 million total, $100.5 million WW)
2. Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania – $12.5 million ($186.8 million total, $419.6 million WW)
3. Cocaine Bear – $11.2 million ($41.3 million total, $52 million WW)
4. Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village – $10.1 million ($10.1 million total, $35.1 million WW)
5. Jesus Revolution – $8.7 million ($30.5 million total, $30.5 million WW)
6. Avatar: The Way Of Water – $3.6 million ($670.6 million total, $2.281 billion WW)
7. Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre – $3.2 million ($3.2 million total, $33.9 million WW)
8. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – $2.7 million ($177.1 million total, $453.6 million WW)
9. Magic Mike’s Last Dance – $1.2 million ($25.4 million total, $52.4 million WW)
10. 80 For Brady – $845,000 ($38.3 million total, $38.3 million WW)