“Creed III” is set to bring “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” to the top spot on the domestic charts.
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer version took in $22 million on its opening day, a figure that includes $5.45 million from preview showings earlier in the week. Playing in 4,007 locations, “Rocky” is now projecting an opening north of $50 million, surpassing initial expectations the drama had pegged at opening at $30 million. It would also mark the highest franchise in all of the “Creed” films and the entire “Rocky” series, surpassing the three-day debut of the first “Creed” ($29 million) and 2018’s sequel ($35 million).
The film’s profile is bolstered by excellent reviews, with a score of 92% from top critics on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes. Audience feedback is also encouraging, with a grade of “A-” by research firm Cinema Score, indicating strong enthusiasm among first round ticket buyers. Auspicious praise for “Creed III” should help in the coming weeks, as the film will likely justify its $75 million production budget.
In addition to its own success, “Creed III” also marks a win for theaters as MGM’s new owner, Amazon, has re-embraced theatrical distribution and rewarded it with the company’s highest opening weekend ever.
diverseOwen Gleiberman praised “Creed 3” as a “sports drama that feels like a thriller,” writing that “Jordan shows dramatic finesse in his take on the Adonis/Lady relationship, presenting it as a broken sisterhood that speaks to larger turbulences—the tug of war between loyalty and violence in a disenfranchised childhood.” “.
Creed III, directed by Michael B. Jordan, in his directorial debut, pits Adonis Creed, son of “Rocky” fighter Apollo Creed, against his childhood friend Damian, played by Jonathan Majors. The film’s cast also includes Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris and Florian Montino. Original “Rocky” franchise star Sylvester Stallone does not appear in this episode due to creative differences, but remains attached as a producer.
Crunchyroll’s “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To The Swordsmith Village” grossing $4.1 million from 1,753 locations looks to reach number three on the domestic charts. The sequel, consisting of two final episodes and an extended episode, is part of a new arc of the anime series, and is expected to open in the lower eight characters.
The series’ predecessor, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train,” was one of the few bright spots during the COVID-stricken box office start of 2021. Its North American opening weekend grossed $19.5 million, marking the feature’s debut. Language other than English. Its domestic gross of $47.7 million boosted its staggering global gross of $506.5 million. Fans seem less than enthusiastic about this entry, though, as the film received a positive “B+” rating on Cinema Score.
“Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” also opens this weekend, and is likely to hit outside the top five after earning $1.073 million on Friday from 2,168 locations. The Guy Ritchie-directed film was due to be released by STX Films, but the struggling banner was acquired by Najaf Enterprises in 2022, halting theatrical plans for the remaining STX slate. Lionsgate finally came on board to handle the domestic distribution of “Operation Fortune”.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania appears to have slipped to second after earning $3.1 million on Friday. The superhero sequel could drop more than 60% again, after suffering a record low for a Marvel release in its second weekend. And the domestic number of “Ant-Man 3” is supposed to exceed $185 million as of Sunday.
“Cocaine Bear” is expected to drop to fourth place on its second outing, dropping 54% for $10.6 million. The comedy-thriller is supposed to gross $40 million over the weekend.
Lionsgate’s “Jesus Revolt” looks to round the top five. The religious film is projecting $8.5 million in its opening weekend, which would bring its domestic total to $30 million.
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