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Box office: ‘Creed 3’ aims for $30 million plus debut

It’s the Battle of the Three Quills at the weekend box office. Michael B Jordan’s sports drama “Creed III” will take on two-time champion “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” in the movies, though the heavyweight boxer is expected to take on Marvel’s youngest Avenger.

Creed III, which Jordan will direct in his filmmaking debut, is projected to earn a triple-best of $36 million to $40 million from 4,007 theaters in North America in its opening weekend. Those ticket sales would easily be enough to defeat Disney’s superhero tentpole “Ant-Man 3,” which appears to add between $16 million to $19 million in its third weekend of release. To date, the comic book adventure has grossed $170 million domestically and $366 million globally.

Come Sunday, though, the third “Creed” installment should leave the ring within those tracking expectations to make the best start in the sub-franchise. The original “Creed,” which relaunched the decades-old “Rocky” franchise in 2015, debuted to $29.6 million, while the 2018 sequel “Creed II” opened to $35.5 million. With a price tag of $75 million, MGM’s latest entry is the most expensive film in the trilogy. (Its predecessors cost $35 million and $50 million, respectively.) But as long as Creed 3 performs similarly to the first two films — the original film grossed $173 million worldwide, and the follow-up grossed $214 million — the third film is well placed in its theatrical run.

All of the “Creed” films, in which Jordan plays Adonis Creed, son of boxing legend Apollo Creed, were embraced by critics and audiences. The latest installment, which once again scored excellent reviews, picks up as Adonis tends to his career and family life. But when his childhood friend and former boxing prodigy (played by Jonathan Majors) resurfaces after serving a lengthy prison sentence, the former friends put their futures on the line for a showdown in the ring. Kenan Coogler and Zack Palin wrote the screenplay.

miscellaneous Chief film critic Owen Gleiberman says the film “maintains a high bar”, while AP critic Lindsey Bahr praised Jordan’s direction, calling it “a promising debut for the 36-year-old, who shows here he’ll never let The star’s own ego gets in the way of the movie.”

Guy Ritchie’s action comedy “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre,” also new to theaters, is expected to bring in $5 million from 2,150 domestic theaters. Jason Statham plays super spy Orson Fortune, who must track down and stop the sale of deadly new weapons technology used by a billionaire arms broker (Hugh Grant). Reluctantly teaming up with some of the world’s best agents (Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, and rapper Bogzy Malone), Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them on their secret mission around the world. to save the world.

It generated mixed reviews, with a score of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, although critics praised the cast. The Daily Beast’s Nick Schager praised Plaza’s scene-stealing performance, saying that the espionage was “brought to life by Aubrey Plaza, who gets away with the show”.

The $50 million film was picked up by Lionsgate for domestic distribution from Miramax, which co-produced the film with STX Entertainment. Operation Fortune has already been launched in many overseas markets, grossing more than $41 million.

Not to be outdone by long-running titles, there’s Crunchyroll’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba: To the Swordsmith Village, which is set to raise $7.5 million to $10 million in its debut. Already, the anime film has grossed $23 million in Japan.

Crunchyroll, which is owned by Sony and specializes in manga movies and TV, dominates the space in North America. The distributor’s 2021 release “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” brought in $21.2 million to start, which is even more impressive since movie theaters were still running at low capacity at the time. Most recently, the 2022 movie “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” topped the box office in its debut with $21 million domestically.

Elsewhere, pending titles including “Cocaine Bear” and “Jesus Revolution” are expected to complete the domestic box office charts.


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